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 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.
After a Lull Come Many Increases
As expected, there are few dividend increases between mid-December and late January, at least according to the anniversary of their Ex-Dividend Dates, but that is soon to change. February and March feature plenty of increases, to be followed by many more in the second quarter, when most companies hold their annual shareholder meetings. 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 Challengers (5-9 years):
CMS Energy Corp.
Dun & Bradstreet Corp.
Pardee Resource Co.
Finish Line Inc. (The)
National Interstate Corp.
Mead Johnson Nutrition
Triangle Capital Corp.
Digital Realty Trust
Equity LifeStyle Properties
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.
At some point in late February or early March, a new wave of Challengers should push the CCC listings to more than 500 companies, and that wave should continue throughout 2014, as more companies reach five consecutive years of dividend growth.
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...or, in the case of a REIT, or Real Estate Investment Trust, its Funds From Operations, or FFO. I'm attaching the chart below.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.