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Investing in dividend growth stocks is not about buying a current high yield, but instead building a high-yield-on-cost over time. One of the criticisms I am hearing more often is, "That low yield isn't even covering inflation." This is a very valid concern, if true. The way many low-yielding stocks compensate for inflation is by growing their dividend well in excess of the inflation rate.

Below are several companies building an inflation hedge for their shareholders by increasing their cash dividends:

Brinker International, Inc. (EAT) owns, develops, operates, and franchises various restaurant brands primarily in the United States. On Aug. 22, the company increased its quarterly dividend 20% to $0.24 per share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 26, 2013, to shareholders of record as of Sept. 6, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.3%.

WesBanco, Inc. (WSBC) operates as a holding company for WesBanco Bank, Inc. that provides retail banking, corporate banking, personal and corporate trust services, and mortgage banking and insurance services. On Aug. 22, the company increased its quarterly dividend 5.3% to $0.20 per share. The dividend is payable on Oct. 1, 2013, to shareholders of record on Sept. 13, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.6%.

HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. (HCC) underwrites non-correlated specialty insurance products worldwide. The company operates in five segments: U.S. Property and Casualty, Professional Liability, Accident and Health, U.S. Surety and Credit, and International. On Aug. 21, the company increased its quarterly dividend 36% to $0.225 per share. The dividend is payable on Oct. 1, 2013, and will be paid on or about Oct. 15, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.1%.

Financial Institutions, Inc. (FISI) operates as the holding company for Five Star Bank that provides various banking and financial services to individuals, municipalities, and businesses. On Aug. 21, the company increased its quarterly dividend 6% to $0.19 per share. The dividend is payable on Oct. 2, 2013, to shareholders of record as of Sept. 12, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.9%.

Community Bank System, Inc. (CBU) operates as the bank holding company for Community Bank, N.A., which provides banking and financial services to retail, commercial, and municipal customers. On Aug. 21, the company increased its quarterly dividend 3.7% to $0.28 per share. The dividend is payable on Oct. 10, 2013, to shareholders of record as of Sept. 16, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.3%.

Vanguard Natural Resources, LLC (VNR) engages in the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas properties in the United States. On Aug. 20, the company increased its monthly distribution 1.2% to $0.2075 per unit. The distribution is payable on Sept. 13, 2013, to unitholders of record on Sept. 3, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 9.2%.

Bob Evans Farms, Inc. (BOBE) owns and operates full-service restaurants under the Bob Evans brand name in the United States. On Aug. 19, the company increased its quarterly dividend 12.7% to $0.31 per share. The yield based on the new payout is 2.6%.

MGE Energy, Inc. (MGEE) operates as a public utility holding company in Wisconsin. On Aug. 16, the company increased its quarterly dividend 3.2% to $0.4076 per share on the company's common stock. The dividend is payable on Sept. 15, 2013, to shareholders of record Sept. 1, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.0%.

Northrim BanCorp, Inc. (NRIM) operates as the bank holding company for Northrim Bank that provides commercial banking products and services to businesses, professionals, and individuals primarily in Alaska. On Aug. 16, the company increased its quarterly dividend 13% to $0.17 per share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 13, 2013, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Sept. 5, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.8%.

Selecting stocks with increasing dividends is critical for an income growth strategy. The above list contains stocks that recently raised their dividends; it is not a list of recommend buys. As always, due diligence should be performed before buying or selling any stock. For a list of stocks with a long string of consecutive cash dividend increases, see here.

Disclosure: No position in the aforementioned securities. See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.

Source: 9 Dividend Stocks Providing An Inflation Hedge With Increased Dividends