Stock Market: Mullen Group Should Appeal to Income-Oriented Investors


Financial expert Gordon Pape says Mullen Group, an Alberta-based transportation company, should appeal to income investors. Photo: Lewis Mulatero/Getty Images

Almost every financial advisor will tell you that one of the cornerstones of a well-constructed portfolio is diversification. That means spreading your assets over a wide range of sectors.

For income-oriented investors, that’s not as easy as it sounds. It’s not hard to find high-yielding securities in the financial, real estate, utilities, pipeline, and telecom sectors. It’s more difficult when it comes to technology, mining, and transportation.

Let’s take a closer look at the transportation sector. CN Rail yields less than 2 per cent. Canadian Pacific Kansas City Ltd. (CP’s official new name) pays less than 1 per cent. Air Canada pays no dividend at all. WestJet no longer trades publicly. CargoJet’s yield is just over 1 per cent. Trucking giant TFI International offers income investors a paltry 1.3 per cent payout.

But there is at least one company in the transportation sector that should appeal to income investors. It’s Alberta-based Mullen Group. Here are the details.

 Mullen Group Ltd. (TSX: MTL)

Type: Common stock 

Recent price: $15.68

Annual payout: $0.72

Yield: 4.6 per cent 

Risk: Moderate


The business: Mullen Group is an Alberta-based transportation and logistics company, with a market cap of $1.4 billion. 

The company started in 1949 when Roland Mullen bought his first truck, a ’49 Chev Maple Leaf. He hauled gravel for $3.50 per hour in 1950 and by the mid-50s was operating three trucks. The company continued to grow and went public in 1993.

Most people think of it as a trucking company, but Mullen also provides specialized services related to the energy, mining, forestry, and construction industries in western Canada. These include water management, fluid hauling, and environmental reclamation.

The company has a decentralized business model, with a number of subsidiaries and limited partnerships. 

The security: We are recommending the common shares of Mullen Group, which trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol MTL. It is also listed on the U.S. over-the-counter market under the symbol MLLGF, although trading there is very limited. 

Why we like it: The stock is cheap (p/e ratio of 8.82). This is a sound company, and the yield of 4.6 per cent is one of the best you’ll find in this sector. 

Financial highlights: The company reported a strong first quarter. Revenue came in at $498 million, an increase of 9 per cent over $457 million in the same quarter of 2022.

Net income was $31.7 million ($0.33 per diluted share), compared with $16.4 million ($0.17 per share) in the same period last year. Adjusted net income was $31.3 million ($0.34 a share), up from $19.5 million ($0.21 a share) last year.

Management said it entered 2023 anticipating a softening in revenue due to rising interest rates and a change in consumer spending habits. But first-quarter results turned out better than expected as the anticipated economic retraction didn’t happen. As a result, the company expects demand to continue to be solid. 

Risks: Economic risk is a concern, despite the good first quarter. If we do have a recession, it will cut into the company’s revenue and profits. That said, Mullen has been through recessions before, and the diversified nature of the business is a plus.

Distribution policy: The company pays monthly dividends of $0.06 a share ($0.72 a year), for a yield of 4.6 per cent at the current price.

Buybacks: Mullen is actively repurchasing shares. During the first quarter, it bought almost 2.2 million shares for cancellation at a cost of $31.6 million. The average cost was $14.45 a share. 

Tax implications: The monthly payments are eligible for the dividend tax credit if the shares are held in a non-registered account.

Who it’s for: The stock is recommended for investors who would like more exposure to the transportation sector and are willing to accept a moderate degree of risk in exchange for an attractive yield.

How to buy: The shares trade actively on the TSX, with an average daily volume of over 260,000. U.S. residents who do not have access to the TSX can try the OTC market but use a limit order and be prepared to wait to be filled.

Summing up: Good company, good yield, strong track record. What’s not to like?

Gordon Pape is Editor and Publisher of the Internet Wealth Builder and Income Investor newsletters. For more information and details on how to subscribe, go to 


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