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In compiling the Dividend Champions list (found here), I get to see which companies are nearing the anniversaries of their previous dividend increases. Since most of these firms raise their payout about the same time every year, I can say with some confidence that they are likely to do so again.

More Good News Ahead

After a noticeable pick-up in the number of companies that typically increase their dividends in the last part of the year, we should see a modest start to 2013, with only a small number expected in January, which coincides with the "forward look" of about 11 weeks for this article.

I have modified the Expected Increase series to reflect a more SA-friendly format by separating the Champions, Contenders, and Challengers into distinct groupings, so please look for the other articles, which I hope will be published about the same time.

Based on last year's announcements, I'm expecting the following companies to announce dividend increases between now and the anniversary of the Ex-Dividend Date of their previous increase:

Dividend Contenders (10-24 years):

Company

Ticker

No.

10/31

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

South Jersey Industries

(NYSE:SJI)

13

50.59

3.18

10.27

12/7/11

1.61

First Keystone Corp.

(OTCQB:FKYS)

11

24.75

4.04

4.17

12/9/11

1.00

Farmers & Merchants Bp

(OTCQB:FMCB)

14

365.00

3.29

3.00

12/13/11

12.00

Vector Group Ltd.

(NYSE:VGR)

14

16.46

9.26

5.00

12/13/11

1.52

C.H. Robinson Worldwide

(NASDAQ:CHRW)

15

60.31

2.19

13.79

12/16/11

1.32

Ecolab Inc.

(NYSE:ECL)

20

69.60

1.15

14.29

12/16/11

0.80

SEI Investments Company

(NASDAQ:SEIC)

20

21.85

1.37

25.00

12/23/11

0.30

Stryker Corp.

(NYSE:SYK)

19

52.60

1.62

18.06

12/27/11

0.85

Axis Capital Holdings Ltd.

(NYSE:AXS)

10

36.22

2.65

4.35

12/28/11

0.96

Lincoln Electric Holdings

(NASDAQ:LECO)

17

43.37

1.57

9.68

12/28/11

0.68

York Water Company

(NASDAQ:YORW)

15

17.37

3.08

1.98

12/29/11

0.53

Andersons Inc. (The)

(NASDAQ:ANDE)

10

39.28

1.53

36.36

12/31/11

0.60

Erie Indemnity Company

(NASDAQ:ERIE)

22

62.22

3.55

7.28

1/3/12

2.21

Roper Industries Inc.

(NYSE:ROP)

19

109.17

0.50

25.00

1/4/12

0.55

Urstadt Biddle Properties

(NYSE:UBA)

18

18.94

5.23

1.02

1/4/12

0.99

Norwood Financial

(NASDAQ:NWFL)

14

31.51

3.81

3.45

1/11/12

1.20

Watsco Inc.

(NYSE:WSO)

11

68.35

3.63

8.77

1/11/12

2.48

Graco Inc.

(NYSE:GGG)

15

48.06

1.87

7.14

1/12/12

0.90

Citizens Financial Services

(OTCQB:CZFS)

14

46.00

2.57

9.26

1/18/12

1.18

MR=Most Recent

Not all of the above companies will meet the strict standards of every investor, but some may be appropriate for portfolio diversification. Potential investors should do more research before committing funds.

Every Picture Tells a Story

As a bonus, I'm inserting one of Chuck Carnevale's F.A.S.T. Graphs below, highlighting one of the companies listed above. When the stock's price line has moved into the green area, it indicates that the stock is undervalued in relation to its earnings. I'm attaching the chart below.

(click to enlarge)

Source: Dividend Contenders: 19 Increases Expected In The Next 11 Weeks