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At the end of the week, our Dividend Achiever Watch List contains 21 companies. Here is our watch list for the week of February 26, 2010.

Symbol Name Price % Yr Low P/E EPS Div/Shr Yield Payout Ratio
THFF First Financial Corp. 26.28 3.75% 15.19 1.73 0.90 3.42% 52%
XOM Exxon Mobil Corp. 65.00 5.08% 16.34 3.98 1.68 2.58% 42%
MON Monsanto Company 70.65 6.13% 25.41 2.78 1.06 1.50% 38%
CWT California Water Service 35.88 7.14% 17.94 2.00 1.19 3.32% 60%
SRCE 1st Source Corp. 14.93 7.88% 18.90 0.79 0.60 4.02% 76%
AWR American States Water Co. 32.16 8.06% 19.85 1.62 1.04 3.23% 64%
WTR Aqua America, Inc. 17.12 11.24% 22.53 0.76 0.58 3.39% 76%
FPL-OLD FPL Group, Inc. 46.37 11.79% 11.68 3.97 2.00 4.31% 50%
TMP Tompkins Financial Corp. 35.86 11.89% 13.33 2.69 1.36 3.79% 51%
SHEN Shenandoah Telecom 18.03 11.99% 29.08 0.62 0.32 1.77% 52%
BRO Brown & Brown, Inc. 16.78 12.24% 14.98 1.12 0.31 1.85% 28%
UMBF UMB Financial Corporation 38.31 13.85% 17.41 2.20 0.74 1.93% 34%
WEYS Weyco Group, Inc. 23.02 14.30% 23.02 1.00 0.60 2.61% 60%
WGL WGL Holdings Inc 32.85 14.90% 14.60 2.25 1.47 4.47% 65%
WMT Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. 54.07 15.04% 14.61 3.70 1.09 2.02% 29%
T AT&T Inc. 24.81 15.72% 11.70 2.12 1.68 6.77% 79%
NTRS Northern Trust Corp. 53.29 16.40% 16.71 3.19 1.12 2.10% 35%
NWN Northwest Natural Gas Co. 43.99 16.65% 15.22 2.89 1.66 3.77% 57%
RBCAA Republic Bancorp, Inc. 16.87 17.40% 8.35 2.02 0.53 3.14% 26%
UGI UGI Corporation 25.05 18.50% 11.33 2.21 0.80 3.19% 36%
SYBT S.Y. Bancorp, Inc. 21.95 20.01% 15.79 1.39 0.68 3.10% 49%
21 Companies

Watch List Summary

The best performer from last week's list is Weyco, which rose 3.7%. Overall performance of last week's list is a gain of 1.5%.

The worst performing stock is Monsanto, which fell 9.1%. We are considering Monsanto as a possible investment. After some diligent research, out team was able to uncover the fact that MON had increased the dividend every year since 1967. In 1999, Pharmacia & Upjohn bought MON which technically discontinued the dividend increases. However, in 2000 Pharmicia spun-off MON which allowed MON to start their dividend increases in 2001.

According to Morningstar, Monsanto has strong double digit return on equity and return assets of 15% and 11% respectively. Additionally, MON has a 3-year growth rate of earnings of 45%, which is exceptional considering the state of the economy over the same period. Among the top 9 wide moat companies in the Morningstar database, MON has the second lowest level of financial leverage at 1.71%.

One company that had been of particular interest was Northern Trust. Northern Trust has increased its dividend for over 20 years. As the stock approached getting within 10% of the low, we ramped up our research of the company. In fact, just before our research was being completed the stock price jumped from $50 to $54 in a matter days. A primary rule of thumb when investing is to never chase a rising stock price. At $53.29, we can only watch from the sidelines. NTRS is a top notch financial institution which would end up being the subject of a bidding war or an acquirer of a substantially undervalued asset.

Exxon Mobil, the largest company by market cap, has been within the 10% range for 6 consecutive weeks. As a sector, the water utilities are the most undervalued in our Dividend Achiever Watch List. A cursory examination and some patience may prove to be fruitful.

Disclosure: Long XOM, CWT, MON

Source: 21 Dividend Stocks to Consider