BCE (BCE) is the largest telecom operator in Canada … and sports one whopper of a dividend.
As should be no surprise, the traditional wired voice services segment continues to be weak for BCE, and that’s something we can expect in perpetuity. However, BCE has diversified into other businesses, such as broadband, IPTV, satellite television, radio and mobile, which is helping to smooth its transition.
Big competitors for BCE include Rogers Communications (RCI) and Telus (TU), though it also faces niche players such as Public Mobile, Wind Mobile and Mobilicity. Until recently, there was buzz that Verizon (VZ) might enter the market by buying up the latter two, though VZ apparently scrapped plans for Canadian expansion until 2014.
Still, BCE has a strong brand and substantial financial resources, as well as a top-notch network that reaches more than 70% of Canadians. BCE also has the advantage of owning premium content, with rights to programming for Discovery (DISCA) and Viacom’s (VIAB) MTV. Its prospects also look bright with concern to mobile, where the company has invested heavily in its payments solutions.
Toss in a 58.25-cent dividend paid quarterly that yields more than 5%, and you’re looking at one sturdy investment.