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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.

Based on last year's announcements, I'm expecting the following companies to announce dividend increases between now and the anniversary of their previous increase:

Dividend Champions (25 or more years)

No.

1/31

Qtrly

%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Air Products & Chem.

APD

28

87.25

2.25

0.4900

8.89

3/30/10

CenturyLink Inc.

CTL

37

43.24

6.71

0.7250

3.57

3/5/10

Chubb Corp.

CB

45

57.93

2.55

0.3700

5.71

3/17/10

Coca-Cola Company

KO

48

62.85

2.80

0.4400

7.32

3/11/10

Genuine Parts Co.

GPC

54

51.75

3.17

0.4100

2.50

3/3/10

Old Republic Int'l

ORI

29

12.23

5.64

0.1725

1.47

3/3/10

Piedmont Natural Gas

PNY

32

28.06

3.99

0.2800

3.70

3/23/10

Telephone & Data Sys

TDS

36

35.75

1.26

0.1125

4.65

3/15/10

Tootsie Roll Industries

TR

45

27.66

1.16

0.0800

3.00

3/5/10

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

WMT

36

56.07

2.16

0.3025

11.01

3/10/10

Dividend Contenders (10-24 years):

No.

1/31

Qtrly

%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Albemarle Corp.

ALB

16

56.16

1.00

0.1400

12.00

3/11/10

Essex Property Trust

ESS

16

116.00

3.56

1.0325

0.24

3/29/10

Raven Industries

RAVN

24

47.24

1.35

0.1600

14.29

3/29/10

RenaissanceRe Holdings

RNR

15

65.62

1.52

0.2500

4.17

3/11/10

T. Rowe Price Group

TROW

23

65.92

1.64

0.2700

8.00

3/12/10

Dividend Challengers (5-9 years):

No.

1/31

Qtrly

%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

American Greetings

AM-OLD

7

21.73

2.58

0.1400

16.67

3/19/10

Astro-Med Inc.

ALOT

7

7.85

3.57

0.0700

16.67

3/17/10

Birner Dental Mgmt Svcs

BDMS

7

19.42

4.12

0.2000

17.65

3/24/10

Cheviot Financial Corp.

CHEV

7

8.94

4.92

0.1100

10.00

3/11/10

Hanover Insurance Group

THG

6

47.30

2.11

0.2500

33.33

3/4/10

ITT Corp.

ITT

8

58.92

1.70

0.2500

17.65

3/1/10

National Presto Industries

NPK

7

128.02

6.30

8.1500

46.85

3/2/10

Novo Nordisk A/S

NPO

9

113.13

1.24

1.4070

36.07

3/25/10

PG&E Corp.

PCG

6

46.28

3.93

0.4550

8.33

3/29/10

PPL Corp.

PPL

9

25.79

5.43

0.3500

1.45

3/8/10

Public Service Enterprise

PEG

7

32.43

4.22

0.3425

3.01

3/8/10

Silgan Holdings Inc.

SLGN

7

37.33

1.13

0.1050

10.53

3/5/10

Village Super Market Inc.

VLGEA

8

31.41

3.18

0.2500

4.17

3/30/10

Westar Energy

WR

6

25.50

4.86

0.3100

3.33

3/5/10

Notably, the expected increases include the next company poised to graduate from Contender to Champions status (Raven Industries (NASDAQ:RAVN)), and the next companies likely to graduate from Challenger to Contender status (PPL and Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO)). Also note that National Presto Industries (NYSE:NPK) has been added since the January 31 update. In addition, one company (NYSE:FLS) that appears in the appendix is expected to record its fifth year of increases on or about March 22.

Although I'm basing this listing on March ex-dividend dates, there may be other companies that announce increases to be paid in April or later. (Companies announce dividend declarations anywhere from two to six weeks before the ex-dividend date.) Not all of these companies will meet the strict standards of every investor, but they may be appropriate for portfolio diversification. Potential investors should do more research before committing funds.

Disclosure: I am long CTL, KO, GPC

Source: 30 Companies Expected to Increase Their Dividends in March