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The Dividend 10: Canada’s top Dividend Paying Tech Stocks

One only has to look to some of Canada’s largest tech companies to learn that the subject of tech stocks declaring a dividend, especially those loosely classified as growth stocks, is a contentious issue.

At CGI Group’s (TSX:GIB.A) annual general meeting this past January the Globe and Mail reported that CEO Michael Roach was grilled repeatedly on the matter. “Personally, I would fare very well from a dividend,” he responded “I kiddingly say, ‘My wife would love a dividend,”. Roach clarified his belief that dividends are not the most effective way to use cash, and that it is better to deliver superior returns over time. The subject of Research in Motion declaring a dividend is a contentious one with many institutional shareholders, who took up the debate after the Blackberry maker purchased 12.3 million of its own shares during the third quarter of 2009.

There are several issues at the heart of the matter. Some believe that the very declaration of a dividend is a white flag; a sign that management no longer possesses the confidence or direction to turn a nickel into a dime or a quarter. Others believe that a dividend is another way to line the pockets of the management, who often own large amounts of stock. Still others believe that, as in the case of RIM, the money could be put to better use in a share buyback program, which increases every shareholders value by effectively canceling outstanding shares.

Recently, with the majority of the companies listed below, investors have enjoyed not only a dividend but share appreciation as well. Stocks like Glentel, Pareto, MKX, and Computer Modeling Group have done more than enough to satisfy the hungriest of growth investors, much less kick in a dividend.

The list below is comprised of the Top Ten Dividend Paying tech stocks from the TSX and TSXV Technology Index. Our stipulations are that The Company has paid a dividend for at least four consecutive quarters on common shares. The list excludes one time or special payments. The stocks are ranked by dividend yield calculated on August 17th, 2010.

1. Pareto Corp (TSX:PTO)

Shares Outstanding: 35,195,495
Most Recent Quarterly Dividend Payment: $0.03
August 17th Close $18.39
Dividend Yield as of August 17th: 5.45%

Toronto’s Pareto only began to declare a dividend in 2008, but the Toronto based company, which provides shopper marketing solutions, has been making up for lost time. The Company’s increased its dividend of $0.015 per share to $0.02 in June, and then increased it to $0.03 in August. Pareto also threw in a special cash dividend of four cents per share in January.

2. MKS Inc. (TSX:MKX)

Shares Outstanding: 10,275,538
Most Recent Quarterly Dividend Payment: US$0.175
August 17th Close: $12.98
Dividend Yield as of August 17: 5.39%

MKS, a Waterloo based provider of application lifecycle management software began paying a dividend in 2006 and has steadily increased it, from an initial US $0.10 per quarter to US$0.175 today.

3. Mosaid (TSX:MSD)

Shares Outstanding: 11,771,074
Most Recent Quarterly Dividend Payment: $0.25
August 17th Close: $20.90
Dividend Yield as of August 17: 4.78%

Kanata’s Mosaid licenses its communications technologies to some of world’s largest semiconductor companies. The Company began declaring a quarterly $0.125 dividend in 2005, the payout has held steady at $0.25 since 2006.

4. Calian (TSX:CTY)

Shares Outstanding: 7,741,215
Most Recent Quarterly Dividend Payment:$0.22
August 17th Close: $17.75
Dividend Yield as of August 17: $4.45%

Calian, an Ottawa based supplier of government software, began declaring a quarterly dividend in 2003 and has increased it every year since, including a recent special dividend of $1 per share in Q1, 2010.

5. Computer Modeling Group (TSX:CMG)

Shares Outstanding: 17,178,535
Most Recent Quarterly Dividend Payment: $0.19
August 17th Close: $18.39
Dividend Yield as of August 17: 3.96%

Calgary based Computer Modeling Group boasts more than 300 clients in 45 countries who use its reservoir modelling and simulation software. The Company first declared a dividend of four cents a share in February of 2004.

6. Aastra (TSX:AAH)

Shares Outstanding: 14,034,385
Most Recent Quarterly Dividend Payment: $0.20
August 17th Close: $22.42
Dividend Yield as of August 17: 3.34%

Shares of Concord, Ontario’s Aastra, which makes telecommunications equipment rallied for most of 2009; from under $8 to over $34 before settling back to the low twenties this year. Aastra increased its dividend to .20 cents per share from .15 after reporting record annual net income in February.

7. Tecsys (TSX:TCS)

Shares Outstanding: 12,210,055
Most Recent Quarterly Dividend Payment: $0.025* (semi-annual)
August 17th Close: $1.78
Dividend Yield as of August 17: 2.80%

In February 2008, Montreal’s Tecsys, which makes supply chain management software, began declaring a $0.02 cent dividend in the first and third quarters of each year. In September, 2009 this dividend was increased by half a cent, to its current level.

9. Gennum (TSX:GND)

Shares Outstanding: 35,445,435
Most Recent Quarterly Dividend Payment: $0.035
August 17th Close: $6.18
Dividend Yield as of August 17: 2.26%

Burlington, Ontario’s Gennum, a semiconductor provider for video broadcast and data communications products, began to pay a three cent dividend in 2001, increased it by half a cent in 2006.

9. Evertz Technologies (TSX:ET)

Shares Outstanding: 73,607,506
Most Recent Quarterly Dividend Payment: $.08
August 17th Close: $15
Dividend Yield as of  August 17: $2.13%

Evertz, a successful private company for more than 35 years, went public on the TSX in 2006, raising $67 million to raise its profile as a provider of leading equipment  television broadcast industry, in particular the high def TV market. The Company began declaring a dividend of $0.05 in 2007 and has since raised to $.08, where it stands today.

10. Glentel (TSX:GLN)

Shares Outstanding: 11,055,470
Most Recent Quarterly Dividend Payment: $ 0.0975
August 17th Close: $19.50
Dividend Yield as of August 17: 1.96%

It’s been a long bumpy road for Glentel shareholders, but with the stock hitting all time highs and increasing its dividend this year, their patience has paid off. Glentel had such a good run, in fact, that it was able to declare an additional special dividend of $0.30 cents per share late last year.

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About The Author /

Nick Waddell
Cantech Letter founder and editor Nick Waddell has lived in five Canadian provinces and is proud of his country's often overlooked contributions to the world of science and technology. Waddell takes a regular shift on the Canadian media circuit, making appearances on CTV, CBC and BNN, and contributing to publications such as Canadian Business and Business Insider.

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