When you think about multinational companies, Canada probably isn’t the first country that comes to mind. Instead, we think of McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Altria (Philip Morris) – the usual suspects riding the scapegoat of globalization. But in fact Canada has its multinationals, too – you might not see them on the average “most wanted” list, but these companies have added incredible value around the world and are among not only Canada’s best, but the best in their respective industries. Even better, they all pay dividends.
For this list, “multinational” is defined as at offices or ongoing operations in at least three countries and with presence beyond North America. The companies are listed according to market capitalization (largest to smallest). All yields are based on Sept.1, 2009 share prices.
Largest Canadian Dividend-Paying Multinationals By Market Capitalization
Scotiabank (TSX: BNS) – During the 2008 credit crisis when U.S. banks looked to be dropping like flies, Scotiabank was rated one of the world’s most stable banks. Within Canada, it is appreciated for its international diversification. It operates in Central America and has been expanding recently throughout China. Even better, it has a nice DRIP program. Market Cap $46.8B; Yield 4.3%
Manulife (TSX: MFC) – One of Canada’s top lifeco’s. Although it recently surprised investors with an unusual dividend cut, this turned out to be about financing the purchase of another company. Manulife is not going to lose its rock-solid position in the TSX 60 or any of the broad-market Canadian ETFs. Manulife also has operations in China. Market Cap: $36.3B; Yield 2.3%
Barrick Gold Corp (TSX: ABX) – Barrick is the world’s largest gold mining company by production and reserves and reports having the strongest credit rating in the industry. It is involved in gold production from 27 mines worldwide on 5 continents. Market Cap: $33.0B; Yield: 1.2%
Goldcorp (TSX: G) - Another senior Canadian gold producer, Goldcorp claims to have the strongest profile in production growth and the lowest costs of all producers. Headquartered in Vancouver, Goldcorp has production throughout North America with additional operations in the Caribbean and South America. Market Cap: $29.2B; Yield: 0.5%
Thomson-Reuters (TSX: TRI) – Back in 2008, Canada’s Thomson Corporation acquired Reuters Group PLC to become Thomson-Reuters. It is now considered the world leader in information distribution and innovation in the financial, healthcare, legal and science information markets. It can be called the “too-big-to-fail” of information services worldwide. Market Cap: $28.6B; Yield: 3.5%
Great-West Life (TSX: GWO) - Primarily an insurance company, but a behemoth at that, Great-West Life is one of Canada’s oldest companies with operations throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia. It also owns several subsidiary companies and is among Canada’s highly-valued dividend payers. Market Cap: $24.5B; Yield: 4.7%
SunLife (TSX: SLF) – Another Canadian blue-chip with significant presence in all Canadian indexes, Sunlife Financial is primarily a life-insurance company. It has offices in the UK, Ireland, U.S., India, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Phillipines and Bermuda. Market Cap: $18.1B; Yield: 4.4%
SNC-Lavalin (TSX: SNC) is one of the top engineering and construction firms in the world. Headquartered in Montreal, SNC has offices in over 35 countries and is working on projects in over 100. Market Cap: $7.0B; Yield: 1.3%
Bombardier (TSX: BBD.B) Headquartered in Montreal, Bombardier is the world’s third largest civil aircraft manufacturer (maker of the SwissAir plane in the photo above) and a leader in the global aerospace and rail transportation sectors. It has significant presence on 5 continents and over 38 countries, including China, Japan, India, Russia, Europe and the Middle East. Its shares are infamous for being a volatile, often unpredictable play, despite the demonstrated value and infrastructure benefits the company provides worldwide. Market Cap: $6.7B; Yield: 2.5%
Fortis (TSX: FTS) – Is a diversified company focusing on the distribution of gas and electricity in North America and in 3 Caribbean countries. It also owns commercial real estate and hotel properties. Investors like it for steady growth and a reliable, defensive dividend. It also has a DRIP plan. Market Cap: $4.2B; Yield: 4.2%
Vermilion Energy Trust (TSX: VET.UN) is an Alberta-based oil and gas trust (since 1994) with additional operations in France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Australia, making it a uniquely diversified oil and gas play. Daily production is around 19,500 barrels of light crude. It trades in the U.S. in over-the-counter under the ticker VETMF. Market Cap: $2.1B; Yield: 7.8%
If you read closely, you’ll have noticed that there were, in fact, 11 companies on this list. And that, another name you might recognize – Research in Motion (RIM) is not. That’s because RIM doesn’t pay a dividend and so even though it has offices in Europe and Asia, it became one way to trim the list down. If you don’t mind buying companies based on growth hopes alone, then take a look at Research In Motion (TSX: RIM) and add it to your list. The 11th company, Vermilion Energy Trust, is not a corporation, legally speaking, but it might become one in 2011 when Canada’s income trusts incorporate the new legal structures.
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