Category Archives: Seeking Alpha article

AltaGas Ltd. (TSX:ALA) Now Offers A 9.6% Yield. Is It Safe?

Summary

  • AltaGas is revisiting its 52-week (and seven-year) low.
  • The company now offers a 9.6% dividend yield.
  • Is the dividend safe?

AltaGas (TSX:ALA) used a mix of debt and essentially stock for the ~CAD$9 billion WGL Holdings acquisition. The debt included a ~US$4.95 billion bridge facility. It also raised capital from the markets by selling CAD$2.6 billion of subscription receipts in Q1 2017.

The acquisition took about a year and four months to finally close in July 2018. In the process, the company had to pay interest on the debt and high dividend-equivalent payments for the receipts, which were converted to common shares when the acquisition closed.

For example, in 2017, AltaGas incurred CAD$170 million of interest expense, which was 12.6% higher than the interest expense of CAD$151 million in 2016 largely due to the financing costs of roughly CAD$19 million associated with the bridge facility.

In 2017, AltaGas paid about CAD$147.84 million of dividend-equivalent payments for the subscription receipts. In comparison, it declared ~CAD$362 million of common stock dividends and ~CAD$59 million of preferred dividends.

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A Higher-Growth Utility For Your Income Needs

Recently, I got an article published about Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. (TSX:AQN)(NYSE:AQN). That’s right. It’s a higher-growth utility that might help to fill your income needs.

Summary

  • Algonquin is estimated to grow at a rate (of 10%) that’s double that of some its bigger peers.
  • It offers a ~4.9% yield and aims to increase its dividend at a CAGR of 10% through 2022.

Business Overview

Algonquin’s portfolio is best summed up in two parts:

1) Non-regulated electric generation assets powered by renewable and thermal energy. It has 1,545 MW of net generating capacity (68% wind, 8% hydro, 2% solar, and 22% thermal) across 38 facilities. This part of the portfolio makes up ~30% of Algonquin’s assets.

About 87% of the output from its hydro, wind, and solar facilities (i.e. ~68% of its net generating capacity) have long-term power purchase agreements with a production-weighted average remaining term of ~15 years.

2) Regulated electric, natural gas, water distribution and wastewater collection utility systems, and transmission operations serve 762,000 customers across 12 U.S. states through 33 utilities. This part of the portfolio makes up ~70% of Algonquin’s assets.

Algonquin has been benefiting from the shift to renewable power from coal. The utility has been growing its power portfolio partly by developing its own projects and partly by accretive acquisitions. Its regulated utilities continue to grow organically, and the company is also on the lookout for accretive acquisitions.

Dividend

Algonquin has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years with a 5-year dividend growth rate of ~9.6%, and it currently offers a decent yield of ~4.9% that’s juicier than most other utilities. Management targets dividend growth of ~10% per year, which will reduce Algonquin’s payout ratio over time.

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Should You Buy Shopify Today?

Growth stocks shouldn’t be taken lightly. Just look at the Shopify Inc. [TSX:SHOP](NYSE:SHOP) stock to get an idea of what I mean. It has more than tripled in the last 12 months. You can’t argue against Shopify’s outperformance, except that it hasn’t turned a profit – yet. The company is expected to start making a profit as soon as late this year.

Shopping today is different from shopping 10 years ago. Nowadays, merchants may sell their products through their online store, their physical stores, marketplaces, social media, mobile apps, and other sales channels.

Shopify “provides (merchants) with a single view of their business and customers across all of their sales channels and enables them to manage products and inventory, process orders and payments, ship orders, build customer relationships, and leverage analytics and reporting from one integrated back office”. – 2016 annual report (pdf)

Rapid growth

Shopify’s growth strategies focus on growing its merchant base. At the end of 2016, Shopify had more than 377,500 merchants from roughly 175 countries using its platform with a strong focus in the United States. This suggests there’s much room for potential international growth in the future.

From 2013 to 2016, Shopify grew its revenue at a compound annual growth rate of 98%. This year, management expects to grow its revenue by 49-54% to $580-600 million.

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