Seeking Alpha
Value, long-term horizon, dividend investing, dividend growth investing
Profile| Send Message|
( followers)  

Summary

  • Promotions include one new Champion and six new Contenders.
  • 7 new Challengers and 22 Near-Challengers were added.
  • Average CCC yield climbs from 2.71% to 2.82%.

The Dividend Champions spreadsheet and PDF have been updated through 7/31/14 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.

Activity Picks Up

The slow pace of dividend-increase announcements in May and June gave way to a slight acceleration in late July, with the number of Dividend Champions, Contenders, and Challengers rising from 543 to 550 companies, a trend that should continue in August. July featured the promotion of the latest Champion, National Retail Properties (NYSE:NNN) and six promotions from Challenger to Contender status. And the Near Challengers listing wasn't diminished by the seven latest "graduations," as the continuing wave of firms headed toward declaring a fifth year of increases in 2015 featured 22 "NEW" notations appearing in Appendix B (on the Notes tab), bringing the number of Near-Challengers to another new record of 273 companies, keeping the CCC universe on pace to top 600 companies by year-end and 700 by mid-2015.

One small cloud on the horizon may be the adverse affect of a strong dollar on foreign firms' payouts (after currency translation). That could translate to a number of Near-Challengers failing to increase their dividends (in US$) this year, or even to the deletion of some existing CCC companies because of the negative translation. But it may be some time before I can be certain of the proper action for each company, since I focus on the actual payment, which can lag the Ex-Dividend Date by as much as two months, during which time the currency exchange continues to fluctuate.

July closed with a big sell-off and the average price of CCC stocks, which $1.06 in June, dropped $2.31 in July, while the new Challengers pushed the average "age" of the dividend streaks from 16.4 down to 16.3 years. The average yield rose from 2.71% to 2.82% and the average of the Most Recent Increases moved from 9.86% down to 9.76%, possibly because of the numerous firms (mainly Master Limited Partnerships) that boost their payouts (by smaller amounts) on a quarterly basis, generally in the first month each quarter.

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:

7/31/14

Champions

Contenders

Challengers

Total

No. of Companies

107

236

207

550

Ave. No. of Years

40.1

14.4

6.3

16.3

Average Price

62.95

63.56

58.08

61.38

Average % Yield

2.64

2.76

3.00

2.82

Ave. MR % Increase

8.15

8.22

12.69

9.76

6/30/14

Champions

Contenders

Challengers

Total

No. of Companies

106

231

206

543

Ave. No. of Years

40.2

14.5

6.4

16.4

Average Price

66.14

65.79

60.07

63.69

Average % Yield

2.48

2.64

2.92

2.71

Ave. MR % Increase

8.02

8.64

12.42

9.86

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:

Calamos Asset Management Inc. (NASDAQ:CLMS) to Challengers

CBOE Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:CBOE) to Challengers

Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) to Challengers

Interface Inc. (NASDAQ:TILE) to Challengers

KLA-Tencor Corp. (NASDAQ:KLAC) to Challengers

Littelfuse Inc. (NASDAQ:LFUS) to Challengers

Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE:MRO) to Challengers

Deletions:

(None)

Promotions:

Bank of Marin Bancorp (NASDAQ:BMRC) from Challenger to Contender

Crane Company (NYSE:CR) from Challenger to Contender

Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) from Challenger to Contender

Landstar System Inc. (NASDAQ:LSTR) from Challenger to Contender

National Retail Properties from Contender to Champion

Ryder System (NYSE:R) from Challenger to Contender

StoneMor Partners LP (NYSE:STON) from Challenger to Contender

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

Source: Dividend Champions For August 2014