Two of these picks just raised your dividends

Article Excerpt

GREAT-WEST LIFECO INC. $24 remains a hold. The company (Toronto symbol GWO; Conservative Growth Payer Portfolio, Finance sector; shares outstanding: 928.9 million; Market cap: $22.3 billion; Dividend yield: 7.3%; Dividend Sustainability Rating: Above Average; www.greatwestlifeco.com) is Canada’s second-largest life insurer, after Manulife Financial. It also offers mutual funds and wealth management. With the March 2020 payment, Great-West raised your quarterly dividend by 6.1%, to $0.438 a share from $0.413. The new annual rate of $1.752 yields 7.3%. In the quarter ended December 31, 2019, Great-West’s revenue fell 8.6%, to $10.7 billion from $11.7 billion a year earlier. That decline was mainly due to a $304 million loss from its investment portfolio compared to a gain of $1.2 billion in the year-earlier quarter. However, earnings in the quarter improved 4.2%, to $740 million from $710 million. Due to fewer shares outstanding, earnings per share rose 10.8%, to $0.80 from $0.72. The better earnings reflect stronger results from Great-West’s U.S. and European operations. 3M COMPANY $132 is also a buy. The…

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