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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.

Jumping the Fiscal Cliff

Anticipating the possible changes in dividend taxation, it appears that many companies that would normally announce increases in January have accelerated those into 2012, hence the relatively small number of January dates below. But a healthy crop of expected increases are expected during February, 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 Champions (25 or more years):

Company

Ticker

No.

11/30

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

Pentair Ltd.

(NYSE:PNR)

36

48.49

1.81

10.00

1/25/12

0.88

California Water Service

(NYSE:CWT)

45

18.00

3.50

2.44

2/2/12

0.63

HCP Inc.

(NYSE:HCP)

27

45.05

4.44

4.17

2/2/12

2.00

SJW Corp.

(NYSE:SJW)

45

24.46

2.90

2.90

2/2/12

0.71

Bemis Company

(NYSE:BMS)

29

33.60

2.98

4.17

2/13/12

1.00

Consolidated Edison

(NYSE:ED)

38

55.79

4.34

0.83

2/13/12

2.42

Energen Corp.

(NYSE:EGN)

30

44.53

1.26

3.70

2/13/12

0.56

Black Hills Corp.

(NYSE:BKH)

42

35.69

4.15

1.37

2/14/12

1.48

3M Company

(NYSE:MMM)

54

90.95

2.59

7.27

2/15/12

2.36

Pitney Bowes Inc.

(NYSE:PBI)

30

11.19

13.40

1.35

2/15/12

1.50

Diebold Inc.

(NYSE:DBD)

59

29.91

3.81

1.79

2/16/12

1.14

McGraw-Hill Companies

(MHP)

39

53.11

1.92

2.00

2/23/12

1.02

Sherwin-Williams Co.

(NYSE:SHW)

34

152.52

1.02

6.85

2/23/12

1.56

Sigma-Aldrich Corp.

(NASDAQ:SIAL)

36

72.52

1.10

11.11

2/28/12

0.80

MR=Most Recent

Note that Pentair recently reincorporated as a Swiss company and as an ADR (American Depository Receipt) may not maintain the same dividend policy. McGraw-Hill will pay a $2.50 Special dividend on December 27. The soaring yield at Pitney Bowes continues to call into question its ability to maintain - let alone increase - its payout. Meanwhile, Diebold stands poised to become the first known company to increase its dividend for 60 consecutive years. 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 Champions: 14 Increases Expected By February 28