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In compiling the Dividend Champions list (found here: http://dripinvesting.org/Tools/Tools.asp) 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 look for the other articles.

Dividend Growth Season

Although we are happy to see dividend increases throughout the year, they tend to happen on a regular basis 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 Challengers (5-9 years):

Company

Ticker

No.

2/28

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

Raytheon Company

(RTN)

8

54.57

3.67

16.28

4/2/12

2.00

G&K Services Inc.

(GK)

7

41.67

1.87

50.00

4/11/12

0.78

Teekay LNG Partners

(TGP)

8

39.15

6.90

7.14

4/19/12

2.70

Teekay Offshore Part.

(TOO)

6

27.99

7.32

2.50

4/19/12

2.05

Sensient Technologies

(SXT)

7

36.91

2.38

4.76

5/7/12

0.88

AmeriGas Partners LP

(APU)

8

43.69

7.32

4.92

5/8/12

3.20

Boardwalk Pipeline LP

(BWP)

7

26.55

8.02

0.47

5/8/12

2.13

Randgold Resources

(GOLD)

6

82.87

0.48

100.00

5/9/12

0.40

BOK Financial Corp.

(BOKF)

8

59.43

2.56

15.15

5/11/12

1.52

Somerset Hills Bancorp

(SOMH)

8

11.32

2.83

14.29

5/15/12

0.32

Costco Wholesale

(COST)

9

101.29

1.09

14.58

5/23/12

1.10

Coca-Cola FEMSA

(KOF)

9

168.64

1.22

4.63

5/24/12

2.06

Northrop Grumman

(NOC)

9

65.68

3.35

10.00

5/24/12

2.20

Assurant Inc.

(AIZ)

9

41.99

2.00

16.67

5/25/12

0.84

CSX Corp.

(CSX)

8

22.94

2.44

16.67

5/29/12

0.56

International Speedway

(ISCA)

7

30.14

0.66

11.11

5/29/12

0.20

Monro Muffler Brake Inc.

(MNRO)

8

37.05

1.08

11.11

5/31/12

0.40

MR=Most Recent

In addition, a number of companies are expected to announce their fifth straight year of higher dividends, qualifying them as the newest Challengers:

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Ex-Div

Alteva *

(ALTV)

4

3/16/12

Stewart Enterprises Inc.

(STEI)

4

4/10/12

Oritani Financial Corp.

(ORIT)

4

5/2/12

TESSCO Technologies

(TESS)

4

5/7/12

Coach Inc.

(COH)

4

5/31/12

United Guardian Inc.

(UG)

4

5/31/12

*Warwick Valley Telephone until 2/4/13

Among the Contenders and Challengers, there are also about two dozen MLPs (Master Limited Partnerships) that tend to increase their distributions on a quarterly basis, and those announcements would typically take place in late April or early May. 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 skipped over the RTN and NOC charts because I have used them recently.) I'm attaching the chart below.

(click to enlarge)

Source: Dividend Challengers: 17 Increases Expected In The Next 11 Weeks