These two are less risky than they appear

Article Excerpt

These two small-cap firms entail higher risk than larger companies such as banks and utilities. However, strong positions in their niche markets support their current high dividends. NORTH WEST COMPANY $34 is a buy. The company (Toronto symbol NWC; High-Growth Payer Portfolio, Consumer sector; Shares outstanding: 47.9 million; Market cap: $1.6 billion; Dividend yield: 4.4%; Dividend Sustainability Rating: Above Average; www.northwest.ca) sells food and everyday products and services at 216 stores. Its outlets are mainly in northern communities across Canada, Alaska and the Caribbean. North West has paid regular dividends for over 32 years. It last raised your quarterly dividend with the October 2021 payment, to $0.37 a share, up 2.8% from $0.36. The new annual rate of $1.48 yields a high 4.4%. In its fiscal 2023 first quarter, ended April 30, 2022, overall sales rose 0.2%, to $552.0 million from $551.0 million a year earlier. Excluding currency changes, same-store sales decreased 0.7%. Same-store sales rose 3.8% in the quarter last year. Notably, though, same-store sales were…

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