The friendly dividend histories of great Canadian stocks
Readers of this site will know I take a hybrid approach to investing.
I invest in a number of Canadian dividend paying stocks for long-term growth and income.
I also invest in some low-cost Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) for U.S. and international diversification.
The friendly dividend histories of great Canadian stocks
There are quite a few dividend payers in Canada but the ones that provide steady dividend increases and those companies that have been paying dividends for decades or even generations is a short list. In that spirit, here is a list of Canadian dividend paying stocks that have friendly dividend histories.
You’ll see in my list below, I’ve highlighted some popular, well-known stocks. I’ve organized these stocks based on key sectors and/or industries found in the TSX Composite Index. Not all Canadian stocks nor sectors are represented in this list mind you – that list would be huge. I will however amend this list over time and keep you updated, including some considerations to expand the information to include consecutive dividend increases or other metrics.
Note: Dividend histories highlighted below are based on my research and/or based on direct contact with the company investor relations team. Most dates include the earliest dividend declaration date and not necessarily the payment date to shareholders per se. Any discrepancies in the information below are appreciated via comments and sources for your data; to keep this post current and accurate for all.
Lastly, dividend cuts can and do happen.
Update: 2020 has been a harsh year for some stocks.
Therefore as always, choose wisely and increase your diversification to remove some individual stock risk!
Big Canadian banks (financials)
These stocks have been the foundation for Canadian mutual funds, ETFs, DIY portfolios and institutional portfolios for decades.
- Bank of Montreal (BMO) – paid dividends since 1829.
- Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) – paid dividends since 1833.
- TD (TD) – paid dividends since 1857.
- CIBC (CM) – paid dividends since 1868.
- Royal Bank (RY) – paid dividends since 1870.
- Laurentian Bank (LB) – paid dividends since 1871. (Cut dividend by 40% in 2020 triggered by COVID-19 pandemic.)
- National Bank (NA) – paid dividends since 1980.
- Canadian Western Bank (CWB) – paid dividends since 1992.
Top Canadian life insurance companies (financials)
Three life insurance companies dominate our Canadian economy:
- Great West Life (GWO) – paid dividends since 1986.
- Manulife Financial (MFC) – paid dividends since 2000.
- Sun Life Life Financial (SLF) – paid dividends since 2000.
Other top Canadian financials
- Thomson Reuters (TRI) – paid dividends since 1989.
- Power Corporation (POW) – paid dividends since 1998.
- Power Financial (PWF) – paid dividends since 1998.
At time of this post, I am awaiting replies from other companies, including Brookfield Asset Management (BAM.A).
Big Canadian energy
After Canadian financials, which dominate our economy in the neighbourhood of 30-40% market weighting, energy is next with historically a 15-25% index weighting.
- Imperial Oil (IMO) – paid dividends since 1947 (although various records go back to 1891).
- Enbridge (ENB) – paid dividends since 1953.
- Suncor (SU) – paid dividends since 1992. (Cut dividend by 55% in 2020 triggered by COVID-19 pandemic.)
- TransCanada Corporation (TRP) – paid dividends “since the late 1960s” as per their Investor Relations team. (Cut dividend in December 1999, thanks to reader SD for the reminder; from $1.12 to $0.80).
- Pembina Pipeline (PPL) – paid dividends since it was a trust, since 1997.
- Inter Pipeline (IPL) – like Pembina, paid dividends since it was a trust, since 1997. (Cut dividend by 72% in 2020 triggered by COVID-19 pandemic.)
- Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ) – paid dividends since 2001.
Our big three Canadian telcos
“Robellus” – you know, the big-3 telcos in Canada? They’ve paid dividends for many years too. Telecommunications companies typically make up about 5% or so of our index:
- Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE) – paid dividends since 1880 (formal records date back to 1949).
- Telus (T) – paid dividends since 1999 (although various company structures, e.g., BC Tel go back to 1916).
- Rogers (RCI.B) – paid dividends since 2003.
Major Canadian railroads and industrials
Industrials, give or take, make up 10% of our index.
- Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) – paid dividends since 2001.
- Canadian National Railway (CNR) – paid dividends since 2005.
- Waste Connections (WCN) – paid dividends since 2010.
Top Canadian material companies
Materials, give or take, also make up 10% of our index.
- Barrick Gold (ABX) – paid dividends since 1987.
- Nutrien (NTR) – paid dividends since 2018 (after the POT and AGU merger).
Top Canadian consumer companies
Consumer companies typically represent less than 5% of our index:
- Magna International (MG) – paid dividends since at least 1993, will be confirmed with investor relations.
- Metro (MRU) – paid dividends since 1999. *Singing Prince’s 1999 song…as I type*
- Loblaw (L) – paid dividends since 2010.
- Dollarama (DOL) – paid dividends since 2011.
I intend to post more dividend histories from Canadian consumer companies in the future.
Our biggest Canadian utilities
Surprisingly, utilities have <5% share of our index (but have a number of companies that solid dividend histories).
- Canadian Utilities (CU) – paid dividends since 1950.
- Fortis (FTS) – paid dividends since 1972.
- Emera (EMA) – paid dividends since 1992.
- Atco (ACO.X) – paid dividends since 1993.
- Brookfield Renewable Energy (BEP.UN) – paid dividends since 2003.
- Algonquin Power (AQN) – paid dividends since 2009.
- Capital Power (CPX) – paid dividends since 2009.
Big Canadian real estate investment trusts (REITs) and real estate players
REITs typically represent less than 5% of our index but also provide dependable income, in some cases.
- RioCan REIT (REI.UN) – paid dividends since 1994.
- Canadian Apartment Properties (CAR.UN) – paid dividends since 1998.
There is no IT sector here given some Canadian IT companies do not pay handsome dividends although we know that is not the case with our U.S. IT counterparts. I will definitely consider adding some IT companies in future updates!
Final notes – I am not advocating these stocks for your portfolio. I am however stating that based on the shareholder-friendly histories of some of these companies, I own some of them. As always, please consider consulting with a financial professional before making any major investment decision.
Thanks to all the Investor Relations teams that kindly responded to my email requests for this information above.
What other Canadian stocks that have paid dividends for many years that you’d like to see on this list?
Learn more about friendly dividend paying stocks from my Beat the TSX page.
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