These top utilities offer rising income

Article Excerpt

CANADIAN UTILITIES LTD. (Toronto symbols CU [class A non-voting] $34 and CU.X [class B voting] $34; Income-Growth Portfolio, Utilities sector; Shares outstanding: 271.1 million; Market cap: $9.2 billion; Dividend yield: 4.6%; Dividend Sustainability Rating: Highest; www.canadianutilities.com) distributes electricity and natural gas in Alberta and Australia. It also owns or invests in 18 power plants, in Canada (15), Australia (2) and Mexico (1). ATCO Ltd. (see right) owns 52.6% of the company. Starting with the March 2018 payment, Canadian Utilities increased its quarterly dividend by 10.0%, to $0.3933 a share from $0.3575. The new annual rate of $1.57 yields a high 4.6%. The company has increased the payout each year since 1972. In the three months ended December 31, 2017, the company’s revenue increased 14.1%, to $1.2 billion from $1.0 billion a year earlier. Earnings, excluding one-time items, fell 2.4%, to $162.0 million from $166.0 million. Per-share earnings fell 3.2%, to $0.60 from $0.62, as a result of lower revenues from its power generation business. Between 2018 and 2020, Canadian…

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