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In compiling the Dividend Champions list, I get to see which companies are nearing the anniversaries of their previous dividend increases. Since most of these companies 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 (five to nine years) into distinct groupings, so please look for the other articles.

Dividend Growth Continues to Accelerate

As mentioned last month, the quicker pace entering the autumn months is accelerating as we enter the fourth quarter of the year. (Next month, we'll see some December anniversaries that represent "accelerated" payments -- prompted by last year's tax-hike fears -- that may appear as "delays," but are actually a return to a more normal schedule.) 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 Champions (25 or More Years)

Company

Ticker

No.

8/30

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

Clarcor Inc.

(CLC)

48

53.56

1.01

12.50

10/4/12

0.54

RPM International Inc.

(RPM)

39

33.98

2.65

4.65

10/11/12

0.90

Bowl America Class A

(BWL.A)

41

14.00

4.71

3.13

10/22/12

0.66

Eaton Vance Corp.

(EV)

32

38.55

2.08

5.26

10/29/12

0.80

Northwest Natural Gas

(NWN)

57

41.04

4.43

2.25

10/29/12

1.82

Eagle Financial Services

(OTCQB:EFSI)

26

23.75

3.20

5.56

10/31/12

0.76

Tompkins Financial Corp.

(TMP)

26

43.40

3.50

5.56

11/1/12

1.52

Cintas Corp.

(CTAS)

30

47.76

1.34

18.52

11/7/12

0.64

AFLAC Inc.

(AFL)

30

57.79

2.42

6.06

11/12/12

1.40

Middlesex Water Co.

(MSEX)

40

20.02

3.75

1.35

11/13/12

0.75

Vectren Corp.

(VVC)

53

32.60

4.36

1.43

11/13/12

1.42

Emerson Electric

(EMR)

56

60.37

2.72

2.50

11/14/12

1.64

Atmos Energy

(ATO)

29

40.35

3.47

1.45

11/21/12

1.40

NACCO Industries

(NC)

27

55.58

1.80

43.34

11/28/12

1.00

Stepan Company

(SCL)

45

56.44

1.13

14.29

11/28/12

0.64

Tennant Company

(TNC)

41

51.37

1.40

5.88

11/28/12

0.72

McDonald's Corp.

(MCD)

36

94.36

3.26

10.00

11/29/12

3.08

MR = Most Recent, LY = Last Year.

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've included one of Chuck Carnevale's F.A.S.T. Graphs below, highlighting one of the companies listed above, AFLAC. When the stock's price line has moved into the green area, it indicates that the stock is undervalued in relation to its earnings.

Click to enlarge image.

Source: Dividend Champions: 17 Increases Expected By The End Of November