Investors are continually on the lookout for dividend-paying stocks that raise dividend payments over time.
Here are five top stocks that are doing just this and experiencing strong momentum that should continue to support dividend hikes in the future.
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P. (TSX:BIP.UN)(NYSE:BIP)
With the 8% dividend increase that was announced in the company’s latest results, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners now has a 4.6% dividend yield.
This increase is backed by strong fundamentals that are set to continue into the new year and beyond.
In the fourth quarter of 2017, funds from operations increased 28%, and for the full year they increased 24%, as organic growth of 10% combined with new investments paid off handsomely.
The stand-out was the utilities segment, which reported a 77% increase in funds from operations, which benefited from the contribution of the newly acquired Brazilian regulated gas transmission business.
Great-West Lifeco. Inc. (TSX:GWO)
Great-West announced a 6% dividend hike, as better-than-expected results were reported that saw a 13% revenue increase in the fourth quarter and a net income increase of 5%. The dividend yield now stands at 4.6%.
The dividend hike is also supported by an 8% increase in assets under administration to $1.3 trillion.
Continued cost reduction, acquisitions, and business investments will continue to support the dividend payment. On a normalized basis, net income was up 10%, and on a go-forward basis, we should expect to see even higher growth as costs savings come in and momentum continues.
Higher interest rates are also benefitting the company and will support dividend growth in the future.
BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE)(NYSE:BCE)
Along with its 2017 results release, which showed a 10.8% increase in cash flows and a 6% increase in free cash flow, the company announced a 5.2% increase in the dividend, which is supported by projected growth in free cash flow.
With the backdrop of a strong Canadian wireless market, BCE has gained traction with the release of its new products and services, and by expanding its all-fibre footprint.
The dividend yield currently stands at 5.3%.
Manulife Financial Corporation (TSX:MFC)(NYSE:MFC)
Manulife increased its dividend by 7%, as core earnings increased 14%.
Going forward, we can expect continued momentum out of Asia, and bolder efficiency initiatives to support the dividend and the stock.
Further interest rate hikes will also be supportive of the stock, which is now trading at a dividend yield of 3.5%
Intact Financial Corporation (TSX:IFC)
While Intact’s fourth-quarter results were below expectations due to lower underwriting income mainly due to a higher claims ratio, the company announced a 9% dividend increase, as management remains confident in the business.
With this stock, investors get access to a quality defensive company with a strong track record, good fundamentals, and upside coming from any future acquisitions.
The stock is currently yielding 2.9%.
In summary, these stocks are showing momentum, and investors are reaping the rewards, with increased dividend payments expected to continue to come through.
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Fool contributor Karen Thomas has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and Intact Financial are recommendations of Stock Advisor Canada.