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One nice thing about compiling the Dividend Champions list of companies that have paid higher dividends for at least 25 straight years is that 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, we can say with some confidence that they are likely to do so again.

Consequently, I'm expecting the following companies to announce dividend increases in the month of September. (Dates in parentheses are the Ex-Dividend Dates of last year's increases.)

There are no Champions likely to increase their payouts in September (that haven't already done so), but there are four Contenders (10-24 years) expected to boost their dividends:

BancFirst Corp. OK (NASDAQ:BANF) (9/28/09) BANF increased its quarterly dividend 4.55% last year, from 22¢ to 23¢ per share, marking the 16th straight year of increases. Over the previous five years, it had increased its payout by a Compound Annual Growth Rate (OTCPK:CAGR) of 11.6%, and by 13.5% over the previous ten years. The yield at July 30 was 2.23%.

Corporate Office Properties Trust (NYSE:OFC) (9/28/09) Logging its 12th consecutive year of higher dividends, OFC increased its quarterly dividend by 5.37%, from 37.25¢ to 39.25¢ per share. Its 5- and 10-year dividend increase CAGRs were 9.5% and 7.5%, respectively. The yield at July 30 was 4.19%.

Consolidated Water Company (NASDAQ:CWCO) (9/29/09) CWCO increased its payout for the 13th straight year by boosting the quarterly dividend by 15.38%, from 6.5¢ to 7.5¢ per share. The CAGR of its previous 5- and 10-year increases were 3.7% and 21%, respectively. The July 30 yield was 2.49%.

HCC Insurance Holdings (NYSE:HCC) (9/29/09) HCC boosted its quarterly payout last year by 8%, from 12.5¢ to 13.5¢ per share, which provided a 2.07% yield at July 30. Its 5- and 10-year CAGRs were 19.8% and 14.9%, respectively.

In addition to these four Contenders, three Challengers (5-9 years) would typically increase their dividends in August:

Harris Corp. (NYSE:HRS) (9/4/09) Harris boosted its quarterly payout to 22¢ per share last September, marking the 8th straight year of increases. The yield at July 30 was 1.98%.

Teche Holding Company (NYSEMKT:TSH) (9/14/09) Teche raised its quarterly dividend to 35.5¢ per share, its 7th straight annual increase. The yield at July 30 was 5.04%.

Equity LifeStyle Properties (NYSE:ELS) (9/23/09) This real estate investment trust (REIT) increased its quarterly dividend to 30¢ per share last year, its fifth straight year of increases, giving it a yield of 2.27% at July 30.

Obviously, not all of these companies meet the strict yield or percentage increase standards of some investors, but they may be appropriate for portfolio diversification. As always, potential investors should do due diligence before committing funds.


Disclosure: Author holds no position in the stocks mentioned (but does own several dozen Dividend Champions, Contenders, and Challengers)