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 is 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 Challengers (5-9 years):
Robbins & Myers Inc.
Alliant Energy Corp.
Health Care REIT Inc.
CMS Energy Corp.
TECO Energy Inc.
Robert Half Int'l
Dun & Bradstreet Corp.
Compass Minerals Int'l
Finish Line Inc. (The)
National Research Corp.
In addition, the following "Near-Challengers" are likely to have their fifth straight year of announced increases, promoting them to Challenger status:
PetMed Express Inc.
R.G. Barry Corp.
Scripps Networks Interactive Inc.
Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co.
Note that BIP is an ADR (American Depository Receipt), so additional tax considerations may be necessary. RBN is being acquired, so its Board may not decide to extend its streak of increases. Also, Lorillard will split 3-for-1 on January 15. And Wisconsin Energy has indicated that it intends to increase the dividend, but the official announcement awaits the next Board meeting. 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.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.