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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, which I hope will be published about the same time.

Dividend Growth Vacation Ending

As mentioned last month, the summer typically features a slowdown in the announcement of dividend increases, and we have seen that through the July schedule. The table below coincides with the usual "forward look" of about 11 weeks for this article and, as you can see, there will be a bit of a pickup in activity as we approach Labor Day.

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.

5/31

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

Dynex Capital Inc.

(NYSE:DX)

5

10.17

11.41

3.57

7/3/12

1.16

Darden Restaurants

(NYSE:DRI)

8

51.80

3.86

16.28

7/6/12

2.00

PSB Holdings Inc.

(OTCQB:PSBQ)

8

29.25

2.60

5.00

7/12/12

0.76

Transmontaigne Part.

(NYSE:TLP)

8

41.99

6.10

1.59

7/27/12

2.56

Bank of Marin Bancorp

(NASDAQ:BMRC)

8

38.96

1.85

5.88

7/31/12

0.72

Intel Corp.

(NASDAQ:INTC)

9

24.28

3.71

7.14

8/3/12

0.90

Navios Maritime Part.

(NYSE:NMM)

5

13.84

12.79

0.57

8/6/12

1.77

Astrazeneca plc

(NYSE:AZN)

9

51.25

5.56

1.79

8/8/12

2.85

Duke Energy Corp.

(NYSE:DUK)

8

66.93

4.57

2.00

8/15/12

3.06

Ryder System

(NYSE:R)

8

63.04

1.97

6.90

8/16/12

1.24

Cummins Inc.

(NYSE:CMI)

7

119.63

1.67

25.00

8/20/12

2.00

Steris Corp.

(NYSE:STE)

8

45.34

1.68

11.76

8/21/12

0.76

Westlake Chemical

(NYSE:WLK)

9

93.40

0.80

154.24

8/28/12

0.75

Crane Company

(NYSE:CR)

8

59.75

1.87

7.69

8/29/12

1.12

Delta Natural Gas

(NASDAQ:DGAS)

8

21.73

3.31

2.86

8/29/12

0.72

Bob Evans Farms

(NASDAQ:BOBE)

7

46.16

2.38

10.00

8/30/12

1.10

ITC Holdings Corp.

(NYSE:ITC)

8

86.57

1.74

7.09

8/30/12

1.51

MR=Most Recent; LY=Last Year

Also note that among the Contenders and Challengers, there are about two dozen MLPs (Master Limited Partnerships) that raise their payout each quarter and would do so in late July or early August. Always keep in mind the possible tax implications of owning MLPs, REITs, and foreign companies. There are also two "Near-Challengers" that may declare their fifth year of increases in August:

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Ex-Div

Reinsurance Group

(NYSE:RGA)

4

8/8/12

Chemed Corp.

(NYSE:CHE)

4

8/9/12

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 Challengers: 17 Increases Expected By August 30