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In everything we do, we always want to be the best or be associated with the best. You never hear sports fans yelling, "We're number two, we're number two" while holding two fingers in the air. The same is true when selecting dividend stocks. One attribute of the very best dividend stocks is a long history of consecutive dividend increases.

Below are several dividend stocks that did not miss the opportunity to increase their cash dividends:

Bemis Company, Inc. (BMS) manufactures and sells flexible packaging products and pressure sensitive materials in North America, Latin America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. On Feb. 7, the company increased its quarterly dividend 4% to $0.26 per share. The dividend is payable March 1, 2013, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Feb. 19, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.8%.

NV Energy, Inc. (NVE) engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electric energy in Nevada. The company generates electricity from its gas, oil, and coal generating units. On Feb. 7, the company increased its quarterly dividend 12% to $0.19 per share. The dividend is payable on March 20, 2013, to shareholders of record on March 5, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 4.0%.

WGL Holdings, Inc. (WGL) sells and delivers natural gas, and provides energy-related products and services. On Feb. 6, the company increased its quarterly dividend 5% to $0.42 per share. The dividend is payable May 1, 2013, to shareholders of record on April 10, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.9%.

The Allstate Corporation (ALL) engages in the personal property and casualty insurance, life insurance, and retirement and investment products business primarily in the United States. On Feb. 6, the company increased its quarterly dividend 13.6% to $0.25 per share. The dividend is payable April 1, 2013, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Feb. 28, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.2%.

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) manufactures and sells protein meal, vegetable oil, corn sweeteners, flour, biodiesel, ethanol, and other value-added food and feed ingredients. On Feb. 6, the company increased its quarterly dividend 8.6% to $0.19 per share. The dividend is payable March 13, 2013, to stockholders of record Feb. 20, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.5%.

Koppers Holdings, Inc. (KOP) produces and sells carbon compounds and commercial wood treatment products and services to aluminum, railroad, specialty chemical, utility, concrete, and steel industries. On Feb. 6, the company increased it quarterly dividend 4.2% to $0.25 per share. The dividend is payable April 8, 2013, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Feb. 19, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.4%.

Northeast Utilities (NU), a public utility holding company, provides energy delivery services to residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. On Feb. 5, the company increased its quarterly dividend 7.1% to $0.3675 per share. The dividend is payable on March 28, 2013, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on March 1, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.6%.

L-3 Communications Holdings, Inc. (LLL) provides command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C3ISR) systems. On Feb. 5, the company increased its quarterly dividend to $0.55 per share. The dividend is payable March 15, 2013, to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 1, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.9%.

Diebold, Incorporated (DBD) provides integrated self-service delivery and security systems and services primarily to the financial, commercial, government, and retail markets worldwide. On Feb. 5, the company increased its quarterly dividend 1% to $0.2875 per share. The dividend is payable March 8, 2013, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Friday, Feb. 22. The yield based on the new payout is 3.9%.

3M Company (MMM) operates as a diversified technology company worldwide. On Feb. 5, the company increased its quarterly dividend 8% to $0.635 per share. The dividend is payable on March 12, 2013, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Feb. 15, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.5%.

Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. (CCE) produces, distributes, and markets nonalcoholic beverages. It provides still and sparkling waters, juices, sports drinks, juice drinks, coffee-based beverages, and teas. On Feb. 5, the company increased its quarterly dividend 25% to $0.20 per share. The dividend is payable March 21, 2013, to shareholders of record on March 8, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.2%.

Home Properties, Inc. (HME) is an independent real estate investment trust that invests in the real estate markets of the United States. On Feb. 4, the company increased its quarterly dividend 6.1% to $0.70 per share. The dividend is payable on Feb. 26, 2013, to shareholders of record on Feb. 14, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 4.6%.

Meredith Corporation (MDP), a media and marketing company, engages in magazine publishing and related brand licensing, television broadcasting, digital and customer relationship marketing, digital and mobile media, and video creation operations. On Feb. 4, the company increased quarterly dividend 6.5% to $0.4075 per share. The dividend is payable on March 15, 2013, to shareholders of record on Feb. 28, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 4.5%.

Simon Property Group, Inc. (SPG) is an independent equity real estate investment trust. It engages in investment, ownership, and management of properties. On Feb. 4, the company increased its quarterly dividend 4.5% to $1.15 per share. The dividend is payable on Feb. 28, 2013, to stockholders of record on Feb. 14, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.8%.

Consolidated Edison, Inc. (ED) provides energy services to residential, commercial, industrial, and government customers in the United States. On Jan. 31, the company increased its quarterly dividend 1.7% to $0.615 per share. The dividend is payable March 15, 2013, to shareholders of record as of Feb. 13, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 4.3%.

Selecting stocks with increasing dividends is critical for an income growth strategy. The above list contains stocks that recently raised their dividends; it is not a list of recommend buys. As always, due diligence should be performed before buying or selling any stock. For a list of stocks with a long string of consecutive cash dividend increases, see this list.

Disclosure: Long MMM, ED in my Dividend Growth Portfolio, and long MDP in my High-Yield Portfolio. See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.

Source: 15 Stocks Not Missing Their Opportunity To Increase Dividends