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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 Picks Up

After a relatively quiet period for dividend increase announcements, I expect to see a strong pick-up in activity as we head into late April, coinciding with Annual Shareholder meetings, which tend to be most prominent in the next month or so, when many 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.

3/28

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

Donegal Group Inc. A

(NASDAQ:DGICA)

10

15.27

3.21

2.08

4/27/12

0.49

Donegal Group Inc. B

(NASDAQ:DGICB)

10

23.00

1.91

2.33

4/27/12

0.44

People's United Fin'l

(NASDAQ:PBCT)

20

13.42

4.77

1.59

4/27/12

0.64

Int'l Business Machines

(NYSE:IBM)

17

213.30

1.59

13.33

5/8/12

3.40

Franklin Electric Co.

(NASDAQ:FELE)

20

33.57

0.86

7.41

5/15/12

0.29

ConocoPhillips

(NYSE:COP)

12

60.10

4.39

29.72

5/17/12

2.64

Southside Bancshares *

(NASDAQ:SBSI)

18

21.01

3.81

16.69

5/22/12

0.80

CCFNB Bancorp Inc.

(OTCQB:CCFN)

15

36.85

3.58

6.45

5/25/12

1.32

Span-America Medical

(NASDAQ:SPAN)

14

20.64

2.42

13.64

5/25/12

0.50

Factset Research Sys.

(NYSE:FDS)

14

92.60

1.34

14.81

5/29/12

1.24

Cullen/Frost Bankers

(NYSE:CFR)

19

62.53

3.07

4.35

5/30/12

1.92

Expeditors International

(NASDAQ:EXPD)

18

35.73

1.57

12.00

5/30/12

0.56

First Robinson Fin'l

(OTCQX:FRFC)

12

32.25

2.95

5.56

5/30/12

0.95

W.R. Berkley Corp.

(NYSE:WRB)

11

44.37

0.81

12.50

6/8/12

0.36

Airgas Inc.

(NYSE:ARG)

10

99.16

1.61

25.00

6/13/12

1.60

Flowers Foods

(NYSE:FLO)

11

32.94

1.94

6.67

6/13/12

0.64

Republic Bancorp KY

(NASDAQ:RBCAA)

14

22.64

2.92

7.14

6/13/12

0.66

Thomasville Bancsh.

(OTCQB:THVB)

13

23.00

3.04

7.69

6/13/12

0.70

FedEx Corp.

(NYSE:FDX)

11

98.20

0.57

7.69

6/14/12

0.56

Tiffany & Company

(NYSE:TIF)

10

69.54

1.84

10.34

6/18/12

1.28

Valmont Industries

(NYSE:VMI)

11

157.27

0.57

25.00

6/27/12

0.90

*Will pay 5% stock dividend on 5/9

MR=Most Recent

In addition, there are about two dozen MLPs (Master Limited Partnerships) among the Contenders and Challengers that tend to increase their distributions each quarter, and those announcements would typically appear 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. (Note that I recently used the chart of COP, so I am skipping it for now.) 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: 21 Increases Expected By The End Of June