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An International View

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 30, 2017

Oil and gas drilling activity picked up stream in the first quarter of 2017, resulting in favorable year-over-year earnings comparisons for most of the companies in our International Coverage Universe.

The good news also extends to dividends: The 13 holdings in the International Portfolio’s conservative sleeve all increased their payouts at least once over the past 12 months. Five of our nine aggressive picks have also boosted their dividends over this period.

Unfortunately, this rebound may prove to be short-lived. Although West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil fetched more than $50 per barrel for much of April and May, the benchmark has tumbled into the low $40s per barrel, reflecting concerns about rapidly growing US production.

A lack of pipeline infrastructure to transport crude oil from Canada to the US means that Western Canada Select goes for about $32 and change.

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