Emera, Inc. offers 4.8% Yield, Hikes Annual Dividend 11 Years (EMRAF)
By: NED PIPLOVIC
Emera, Inc. (OTCBB:EMRAF), a Canadian utility company, currently offers a 4.8% dividend yield, and it has boosted its annual dividend payout for the past 11 consecutive years and 19 out of the past 20 years.
Moreover, the annual dividend growth rate has been accelerating over the past few years. In addition to the dividend distribution growth, the company provided its shareholders with double-digit-percentage asset appreciation over the past 12 months.
The company will pay its next dividend on February 15, 2018, to all its shareholders of record prior to the company’s January 31, 2018 ex-dividend date.
Emera, Incorporated (OTCBB:EMRAF)
Founded in 1919 and headquartered in Halifax, Canada, Emera Incorporated is an energy and services company that generates, transmits and distributes electricity. The company also provides gas transmission and utility energy services, as well as energy marketing, trading and other energy asset management services. Additionally, the company transports re-gasified liquefied natural gas to consumers in the northeastern United States through its 90-mile pipeline in New Brunswick. As of the third quarter of 2017, the company served approximately 375,000 customers in Florida, 525,000 customers in New Mexico, 510,000 customers in Nova Scotia, 155,000 customers in the state of Maine and 125,000 customers on the Island of Barbados.
The company’s current quarterly dividend distribution of $0.454 (CA$0.565) is 8.1% higher than the $0.42 (CA$0.5225) dividend amount from the same period last year. This current quarterly dividend payout is equivalent to an annualized $1.82 (CA$2.26) payout and a 4.8% dividend yield. Emera’s current 4.8% dividend yield is 106% higher than the 2.34% simple average yield of the entire utilities sector and 109% higher than the average yield of all the company’s peers in the Electric Utilities segment.
The company started paying dividends in 1999 and has hiked its annual dividend payout in 19 out of the past 20 years. The only time that the company failed to hike its annual dividend in the past two decades was in 2006, when the company paid the same annual distribution as it did in the previous year. However, since 2006, the company has enhanced its annual distribution amount at an average growth rate of 8.8% per year over 11 consecutive years and increased its annual dividend payout by more than 150% over that period.
In addition to raising its annual distribution amounts over a prolonged period, the company is accelerating the growth pace as well. The current average annual growth rate of 8.8% is 72% higher than the 5.1% average growth rate over the past 20 years. Additionally, the 9.52% average growth rate over the past five years exceeds the 8.8% average rate over the past 11 consecutive years and the average growth rate over the past three years is highest at 13.2%.
The company’s share price fell 2.2% to start its current trailing 12-month period and fell to its 52-week low of $33.50 by March 14, 2017. After the March low, the share price ascended 17.6% over the following six months and reached its 52-week high of $39.38 on September 7, 2017, with minimal volatility and just one drop of more than 5% in late April and early May.
Following the September 2017 peak, the share price lost some of its gains and dropped 9% to $36.03 by December 26, 2017. After that minor pullback, the share price rose again and closed on January 8, 2018 at $37.68, which was just 4.3% short of the 52-week high from September 2017. Additionally, the $37.68 closing price from January 8, 2018, is 10% higher than it was 12 months earlier and 12.5% above the 52-week low from March 2017.
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Ned Piplovic is the assistant editor of website content at Eagle Financial Publications. He graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Philosophy. Prior to joining Eagle, Ned spent 15 years in corporate operations and financial management. Ned writes for www.DividendInvestor.com and www.StockInvestor.com.