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In compiling the Dividend Champions list I get to see what 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.

Quiet Time

For the previous article in this series, I extended the forward look to a period of about 10 weeks. But as I explained in last week's article about the seasonality of dividend increases, we are in the slowest part of the year in terms of activity. But while the fewest increases carry a July Ex-Dividend Date (and August Pay Date), those coincide to some extent with June Announcements, so we may have passed the very slowest period of increases in terms of increased dividend declarations. Of the 28 companies listed in my June 10 article, only three announced increases, so most of them have been carried over here. 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.

5/31


Qtrly

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Helmerich & Payne Inc.

HP

38

62.68

0.38

0.0600

20.00

8/11/10

Carlisle Companies

CSL

34

48.60

1.40

0.1700

6.25

8/13/10

Walgreen Company

WAG

35

43.63

1.60

0.1750

27.27

8/17/10

Dover Corp.

DOV

55

67.23

1.64

0.2750

5.77

8/27/10

Nordson Corp.

NDSN

47

52.02

0.81

0.1050

10.53

8/27/10

Conn. Water Service

CTWS

41

25.21

3.69

0.2325

2.20

8/30/10

MGE Energy Inc.

MGEE

34

41.64

3.60

0.3751

1.82

8/30/10

Dividend Contenders (10-24 years):



No.

5/31


Qtrly

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

A.O. Smith Corp.

AOS

17

41.47

1.35

0.1400

7.69

7/28/10

AptarGroup Inc.

ATR

17

53.40

1.35

0.1800

20.00

7/28/10

National Retail Prop.

NNN

21

25.78

5.90

0.3800

1.33

7/28/10

CARBO Ceramics

CRR

10

150.27

0.53

0.2000

11.11

7/30/10

Inergy LP

NRGY

10

37.09

7.60

0.7050

1.44

8/4/10

Murphy Oil Corp.

MUR

15

68.89

1.60

0.2750

10.00

8/12/10

Alterra Capital Holdings

ALTE

10

22.75

2.11

0.1200

20.00

8/13/10

Badger Meter Inc.

BMI

18

37.22

1.50

0.1400

16.67

8/27/10

Chesapeake Financial

OTCQB:CPKF

18

11.85

3.71

0.1100

4.76

8/30/10

Computer Services Inc.

OTCQX:CSVI

22

27.65

1.59

0.1100

15.79

8/30/10

Dividend Challengers (5-9 years):



No.

5/31


Qtrly

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Darden Restaurants

DRI

6

50.65

2.53

0.3200

28.00

7/7/10

General Mills

GIS

7

39.77

2.82

0.2800

14.29

7/8/10

MSC Industrial Direct

MSM

8

69.51

1.27

0.2200

10.00

7/9/10

Astrazeneca plc

AZN

7

52.40

4.60

1.2050

15.31

8/4/10

Landstar System Inc.

LSTR

6

47.32

0.42

0.0500

11.11

8/5/10

Lindsay Corp.

LNN

8

67.08

0.51

0.0850

6.25

8/13/10

Maxim Integrated Prod.

MXIM

9

27.25

3.08

0.2100

5.00

8/18/10

Oil-Dri Corp. of America

ODC

8

22.28

2.87

0.1600

6.67

8/18/10

Ritchie Brothers Auction.

RBA

8

27.72

1.52

0.1050

5.00

8/18/10

Cummins Inc.

CMI

5

105.24

1.00

0.2625

50.00

8/19/10

Ryder System

R

6

55.00

1.96

0.2700

8.00

8/19/10

Steris Corp.

STE

6

36.09

1.66

0.1500

36.36

8/20/10

Crane Company

CR

6

49.19

1.87

0.2300

15.00

8/27/10

Delta Natural Gas

DGAS

6

31.57

4.31

0.3400

4.62

8/27/10

ITC Holdings Corp.

ITC

6

72.29

1.85

0.3350

4.69

8/30/10

Westlake Chemical

WLK

7

56.10

0.45

0.0635

10.43

8/30/10

Bob Evans Farms

BOBE

5

31.35

2.55

0.2000

11.11

9/3/10

I still anticipate that two companies – Altera Corp. (ALTR) and Enbridge Energy Partners LP (EEP) - will boost their dividends during this period, marking their fifth straight year of increases and promoting them to Challenger status. Both hiked their dividend last year with Ex-Dividend Dates in the first week of August. That's also when about two dozen MLPs (Master Limited Partnerships) tend to increase the payout each quarter. 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.

Source: 36 Companies Likely to Raise Dividends in the Next 10 Weeks