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Editor's Note: This article covers a micro-cap stock. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.

The Dividend Champions spreadsheet and PDF have been updated through 10/31/13 and are available here. Note that all references to Champions mean companies that have paid higher dividends for at least 25 straight years; Contenders have streaks of 10-24 years; Challengers have streaks of 5-9 years. "CCC" refers to the universe of Champions, Contenders, and Challengers.

Crunch Time

The last quarter of the year is well under way and already several companies have been eliminated because their dividend rates were "frozen" (unchanged during 2012 and 2013), leading to deletion. A couple of companies - Columbia Sportswear (NASDAQ:COLM) and Westamerica Bancorp (NASDAQ:WABC) - extended their streaks and avoided that fate. Meanwhile, we're already seeing more announcements of increases by "Near-Challengers," a trend that promises to swell the ranks of the Challengers in 2014. (When the Pay Date falls in 2014, I will include a Note to that effect in Green to indicate that 2014 will be the fifth year of increases, even though I am adding such companies as soon as the dividend increase is announced.) We should see a steady rise in the CCC population, with the total number exceeding 500 by next February or March and approaching 550 by mid-2014.

October featured continued strength in the stock market, as can be seen in the table below. The average price of CCC stocks, which rose by over $2 in September, repeated that feat in October, pushing the average yield down to 2.75%, from 2.88%. The average of the Most Recent Increases remains well above 9% and actually continued to rise. As always, please use the CCC only as a starting point for more in-depth research. Feel free to leave any suggestions in the Comment area below.

Quick Summary

The Summary tab includes a table comparing the composite numbers from the latest update to those from the previous month and the end of the previous year. Below that is a summary of the latest month's activity, in terms of companies added, deleted, or promoted. That is reflected below:

Quick Summary:

10/31/13

Champions

Contenders

Challengers

Total

No. of Companies

105

209

153

467

Ave. No. of Years

39.6

14.3

7.1

17.6

Average Price

64.09

62.34

54.96

60.32

Average % Yield

2.50

2.64

3.07

2.75

Ave. MR % Increase

8.91

8.61

10.78

9.34

9/30/13

Champions

Contenders

Challengers

Total

No. of Companies

105

210

154

469

Ave. No. of Years

39.6

14.3

7.1

17.6

Average Price

61.41

59.84

53.04

57.96

Average % Yield

2.58

2.78

3.21

2.88

Ave. MR % Increase

8.77

8.54

10.63

9.23

12/31/12

Champions

Contenders

Challengers

Total

No. of Companies

105

183

170

458

Ave. No. of Years

39.0

14.3

7.2

17.3

Average Price

53.48

50.89

45.25

49.39

Average % Yield

2.93

3.02

3.62

3.22

Ave. MR % Increase

7.75

8.58

10.43

9.06

MR = Most Recent

Additions:

Cantel Medical Corp. (NYSE:CMN) to Challengers

Cenovus Energy Inc. (NYSE:CVE) to Challengers

Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) to Contenders (Reinstated)

Lexington Realty Trust (NYSE:LXP) to Challengers

TESSCO Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:TESS) to Challengers *

Deletions:

Crestwood Midstream Partners LP (NYSE:CMLP) from Challengers

Juniata Valley Financial (OTCQB:JUVF) from Contenders

National CineMedia Inc. (NASDAQ:NCMI) from Challengers

National Instruments Corp. (NASDAQ:NATI) from Contenders

Natural Resource Partners LP (NYSE:NRP) from Contenders

NuStar Energy LP (NYSE:NS) from Contenders

TECO Energy Inc. (NYSE:TE) from Challengers

Promotions:

Senior Housing Properties Trust (NYSE:SNH) from Challenger to Contender *

Utah Medical Products Inc. (NASDAQ:UTMD) from Challenger to Contender

* By Default (No increase in 2013, but total dividends>2012)

(Table from author; may include underlying data from FinViz.com)

Every Picture Tells a Story

As a bonus, I usually insert one of Chuck Carnevale's F.A.S.T. Graphs below, highlighting one of the companies listed above. This month, however, none of the companies mentioned had an attractive chart, so I am foregoing that step.

Source: Dividend Champions For November 2013