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Summary

  • Oil companies, J&J lead the parade.
  • Universal Health Realty yield to top 6%?
  • Diversified field offers safety.

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 separated 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. Note that "CCC" refers to the combination of Champions, Contenders, and Challengers.

Spring Lull Passes

The pace of dividend increases slacked off in late March and early April, following a brusque pace heading into the annual shareholder meetings. I expect the pace of increases to pick back up as we approach May and June, followed by occasional lulls in activity as we move toward year-end. In addition to the expected annual increases, we'll likely see the usual spate of quarterly hikes by more than two dozen Master Limited Partnerships (or MLPs), particularly among the Contenders and Challengers. 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.

3/31

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

PPG Industries Inc.

(NYSE:PPG)

42

193.46

1.26

3.39

5/8/13

2.44

ExxonMobil Corp.

(NYSE:XOM)

31

97.68

2.58

10.53

5/9/13

2.52

W.W. Grainger Inc.

(NYSE:GWW)

42

252.66

1.47

16.25

5/9/13

3.72

Chevron Corp.

(NYSE:CVX)

26

118.91

3.36

11.11

5/15/13

4.00

Sonoco Products Co.

(NYSE:SON)

31

41.02

3.02

3.33

5/15/13

1.24

MSA Safety Inc.

(NYSE:MSA)

42

57.00

2.11

7.14

5/16/13

1.20

Questar Corp.

(NYSE:STR)

34

23.78

3.03

5.88

5/22/13

0.72

Johnson & Johnson

(NYSE:JNJ)

51

98.23

2.69

8.20

5/23/13

2.64

RLI Corp.

(NYSE:RLI)

38

44.24

1.54

6.25

5/29/13

0.68

Weyco Group Inc.

(NASDAQ:WEYS)

32

27.02

2.66

5.88

5/29/13

0.72

UGI Corp.

(NYSE:UGI)

26

45.61

2.48

4.63

6/12/13

1.13

Universal Health Realty

(NYSE:UHT)

27

42.24

5.92

0.81

6/13/13

2.50

National Fuel Gas

(NYSE:NFG)

43

70.04

2.14

2.74

6/26/13

1.50

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'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. I'm attaching the chart below.

Source: Dividend Champions: 13 Increases Expected By The End Of June