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 Vacation
As expected, there was a strong pick-up in activity in April and May, coinciding with Annual Shareholder meetings, when many companies like to give their owners reason to be happy. But as I spelled out in this article, more than 60% of the dividend increases among CCC companies take place in the first half of the year, more than 50% of them by the end of May. So we can expect more modest numbers for the remainder of the year, although more companies than ever seem willing to announce multiple increases during than ever. 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):
Monro Muffler Brake Inc.
Portland General Electric
Dynex Capital Inc.
PSB Holdings Inc.
Bank of Marin Bancorp
Note that since H.J. Heinz has agreed to be acquired, the (normally) expected dividend increase may not happen, preventing the company from being promoted to Contender status. In addition to the expected increases above, a group of "Near-Challengers" (companies with four years of dividend increases) are expected to achieve Challengers status soon:
United Guardian Inc.
Colony Financial Inc.
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. Although Darden appears slightly overvalued, it has a generous yield and dividend growth record. I'm attaching the chart below.