Dividend Champions For May 2014

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Includes: AMP, APU, CE, CNL, CSX, GOLD, IEX, K, LAD, LHO, QNTO, RBC, TLP, TRV, UFS, WINA
by: David Fish

Summary

CCC universe expands to 526 companies.

8 new challengers make their debuts.

7 companies graduate to contender status.

The Dividend Champions spreadsheet and PDF have been updated through 4/30/14 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.

CCC Listing Continues to Expand

The steady pace of dividend-increase announcements continued in April, with eight new Challengers being added, but there was one deletion, so the number of Dividend Champions, Contenders, and Challengers grew to 526 companies by the end of the month. So after the CCC roster finished 2013 at 476 companies, it has grown by a net count of 50 companies in four months. The moderate pace of additions should continue throughout the Summer, followed by flurry of "graduations" in the fourth quarter and a 2014 finish at more than 600 companies.

Again this month, the Near Challengers listing wasn't diminished by the latest "graduations," thanks to a continuing wave of companies headed toward declaring a fifth year of increases in early 2015. In Appendix B (on the Notes tab), you'll see 22 "NEW" notations, bringing the number of Near-Challengers to a new record of 247 companies, a strong indication that the CCC universe should expand to over 700 companies by this time in 2015.

April featured an ebb and flow that took some stocks to new all-time highs, but the average price of CCC stocks, which dipped by 9¢ in March, declined another 35¢ in April, probably due to the new Challengers' lower prices overriding higher Champions price increases. Note that seven companies graduated from Challenger to Contender, lowering the average price of the latter group. The average yield actually rose from 2.78% to 2.79%, and the average of the Most Recent Increases moved from 9.36% up to 9.65%, no doubt benefiting from the influx of new companies.

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:

4/30/14

Champions

Contenders

Challengers

Total

No. of Companies

105

229

192

526

Ave. No. of Years

40.1

14.5

6.6

16.7

Average Price

64.30

64.06

58.18

61.96

Average % Yield

2.52

2.69

3.04

2.79

Ave. MR % Increase

8.57

8.36

12.09

9.65

3/31/14

Champions

Contenders

Challengers

Total

No. of Companies

105

222

192

519

Ave. No. of Years

39.9

14.6

6.7

16.8

Average Price

64.12

64.42

58.87

62.31

Average % Yield

2.51

2.65

3.09

2.78

Ave. MR % Increase

8.47

8.12

11.50

9.36

12/31/13

Champions

Contenders

Challengers

Total

No. of Companies

105

210

161

476

Ave. No. of Years

39.8

14.5

7.1

17.6

Average Price

64.42

65.14

57.74

62.48

Average % Yield

2.49

2.60

3.06

2.73

Ave. MR % Increase

8.68

8.78

11.10

9.49

MR = Most Recent

Additions:

Celanese Corp. (NYSE:CE) to Challengers

Cleco Corp. (NYSE:CNL) to Challengers

Domtar Corp. (NYSE:UFS) to Challengers

IDEX Corp. (NYSE:IEX) to Challengers

LaSalle Hotel Properties (NYSE:LHO) to Challengers

Lithia Motors Inc. (NYSE:LAD) to Challengers

Quaint Oak Bancorp Inc. (OTCQX:QNTO) to Challengers

Winmark Corp. (NASDAQ:WINA) to Challengers

Deletions:

Randgold Resources Ltd. (NASDAQ:GOLD) from Challengers

Promotions:

AmeriGas Partners LP (NYSE:APU) from Challenger to Contender

Ameriprise Financial Inc. (NYSE:AMP) from Challenger to Contender

CSX Corp. (NYSE:CSX) from Challenger to Contender

Kellogg Company (NYSE:K) from Challenger to Contender

Regal Beloit Corp. (NYSE:RBC) from Challenger to Contender

Transmontaigne Partners LP (NYSE:TLP) from Challenger to Contender

Travelers Companies (NYSE:TRV) from Challenger to Contender

Click to enlarge

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

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 (Travelers). When the price line is in the green area, it suggests possible undervaluation.

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.

Editor's Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.