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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.
The pace of dividend increases picked back up in May, as expected, but June and (especially) July promise to provide another of those occasional lulls in activity before the pace picks up again in the Fall. We're still likely see the usual spate of quarterly hikes in late May and early June 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 Challengers (5-9 years):
Monro Muffler Brake Inc.
MR=Most Recent; LY=Last Year
In addition, there's a Baker's Dozen of Near-Challengers that are on schedule to record their fifth year of increases by the end of July:
Applied Materials Inc.
Stage Stores Inc.
Extra Space Storage Inc.
FedFirst Financial Corp.
Teck Resources Limited
THL Credit Inc.
UnitedHealth Group Inc.
DTE Energy Company
Northwest Bancshares Inc.
Calumet Specialty Prod. LP
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.
Editor's Note: This article covers a stock trading at less than $1 per share and/or with less than a $100 million market cap. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.