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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. I have modified the Expected Increase series to reflect a more SA-friendly format by separating the Champions (25 or more years of higher dividends), Contenders (10-24 years), and Challengers (5-9 years) into distinct groupings, so please click the links above to view the other articles.

The Pace Quickens

As usually happens this time of year, dividend increases come at a faster pace during February and March, heading into Annual Shareholder meetings in April, May, and June, when companies like to give their owners reason to be happy. The table below coincides with the usual "forward look" of about 11 weeks for this article.

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.

1/31

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

Buckeye Partners LP

(NYSE:BPL)

17

52.64

7.88

1.22

2/16/12

4.15

Analog Devices Inc.

(NASDAQ:ADI)

10

43.64

2.75

20.00

3/7/12

1.20

SCANA Corp.

(NYSE:SCG)

12

46.81

4.23

2.06

3/7/12

1.98

UNS Energy Corp.

(NYSE:UNS)

13

45.29

3.80

2.38

3/8/12

1.72

RenaissanceRe Holdings

(NYSE:RNR)

17

85.64

1.26

3.85

3/13/12

1.08

Infinity Property & Casualty

(NASDAQ:IPCC)

10

59.47

1.51

25.00

3/14/12

0.90

Teche Holding Co.

(NYSEMKT:TSH)

11

39.10

3.73

1.39

3/14/12

1.46

Canadian Natural Res.

(NYSE:CNQ)

12

30.22

1.39

20.34

3/15/12

0.42

Communications Sys.

(NASDAQ:JCS)

10

11.14

5.75

6.67

3/20/12

0.64

Novo Nordisk A/S

(NYSE:NVO)

11

184.35

1.35

37.38

3/22/12

2.50

Essex Property Trust

(NYSE:ESS)

18

153.78

2.86

5.77

3/28/12

4.40

General Dynamics

(NYSE:GD)

21

66.30

3.08

8.51

4/11/12

2.04

McGrath Rentcorp

(NASDAQ:MGRC)

20

29.89

3.14

2.17

4/12/12

0.94

Nestle S.A.

(OTCPK:NSRGY)

12

70.32

3.00

1.43

4/23/12

2.11

Syngenta AG

(NYSE:SYT)

11

86.09

2.03

11.48

4/26/12

1.75

Tanger Factory Outlet Ctrs

(NYSE:SKT)

19

35.42

2.37

5.00

4/26/12

0.84

Donegal Group Inc. A

(NASDAQ:DGICA)

10

13.15

3.73

2.08

4/27/12

0.49

Donegal Group Inc. B

(NASDAQ:DGICB)

10

18.86

2.33

2.33

4/27/12

0.44

People's United Financial

(NASDAQ:PBCT)

20

12.32

5.19

1.59

4/27/12

0.64

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 By The End Of April