Written by Demetris Afxentiou at The Motley Fool Canada
Establishing a mix of dividend-paying stocks that can provide a healthy income is an important objective for every investor. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of dividend-paying stocks to choose from on the market. Even better, some of those great stocks recently raised their dividends.
Here’s a look at some of those higher dividend payers to consider adding to your portfolio.
Over half a century of dividend increases – and going for more…
Canadian Utilities (TSX:CU) is one of only two Dividend Kings in Canada boasting 50 or more years of consecutive dividend increases. In the case of Canadian Utilities, the company paid out its 51st consecutive annual increase earlier this year.
Utilities are great long-term holdings to consider, as they generate recurring and stable revenue streams that are backed by regulated contracts. This allows Canadian Utilities to invest in growth and provide a juicy dividend to investors.
As of the time of writing, the yield on that dividend works out to an impressive 6.22%, making it one of the better-paying options on the market. Part of the reason why that yield is so high stems from market volatility, which has pushed the stock down approximately 20% year to date.
Suffice it to say, that makes Canadian Utilities an appealing option for long-term investors looking to scoop up a great stock at a discounted rate. And those investors will look forward to Canadian Utilities raising its dividend again in 2024.
Banking on growth and recovery
It would be hard, if not impossible, to compile a list of income-producing stocks that raised their dividends without mentioning at least one of Canada’s big banks.
And that’s why Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) is a noteworthy candidate for income-seeking investors. BMO is the oldest of the big banks with nearly two centuries of dividend payments. It has also weathered (if not thrived) through countless downturns, recessions, and depressions over that time.
Today, the yield on its quarterly dividend works out to 5.53%.
Apart from that appetizing (and growing) dividend, BMO also appeals as a stellar growth stock. The bank completed the acquisition of U.S.-based Bank of the West earlier this year. The massive deal propelled BMO into position as one of the largest banks in the U.S. market, with a presence in 32 states.
The deal also ushered in 1.8 million new customers and billions in deposits across multiple new markets.
And perhaps best of all, despite that stable and growing dividend and huge growth potential, the stock is down 14% year to date. This makes it an ideal time to buy a stock that raised its dividend at a substantial discount.
Look for a solid business model that continues to grow
BCE (TSX:BCE) represents another great example of a stock that raised its dividend in 2023. For those that may be unfamiliar with BCE, the company is one of the largest telecoms in Canada, with nationwide coverage for its multiple subscriber-based segments.
That includes growing wireless and internet segments, which have become more defensive in the years since the pandemic started. In fact, in the most recent quarter, BCE reported that the wireless segment surpassed 10 million subscribers. The wireless segment also saw the highest postpaid activations in 18 years.
If that’s not enough, BCE also boasts a massive, yet complementary media segment that includes dozens of radio and TV stations.
In short, BCE is a defensive titan with a massive moat that blankets the entire country.
As an income stock, BCE pays out a very juicy quarterly dividend, and like BMO, has been doing so for over a century. As of the time of writing, BCE’s dividend works out to a very attractive 7.56%. This makes it the better-paying option among its big telecom peers.
Oh, and the company has an established precedent of providing annual upticks to its dividend. This handily puts BCE on the shortlist of companies that raised their dividends in 2023.
No investment is without risk. Fortunately, the three companies mentioned above offer some defensive appeal. They also happen to be stellar stocks that raised their dividends this year and plan to continue that practice into 2024 and beyond.
In my opinion, one or all of these stocks should be core holdings as part of a larger, well-diversified portfolio.
Before you consider BCE, you'll want to hear this.
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