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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.

Activity Increasing

In the previous article in this series, I mentioned that we had passed the very slowest period of increases during the year in terms of declarations, and the number of approaching dividend increases seems to be picking up. Of the 46 companies listed in my July 11 article, 10 announced increases and one will pay the same amount for a fifth quarter, so again the majority of them have been carried over here, and are joined by companies with Ex-Dividend Dates in late September, and early October. 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.

6/30


Qtrly

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Carlisle Companies

CSL

34

49.23

1.38

0.1700

6.25

8/13/10

Dover Corp.

DOV

55

67.80

1.62

0.2750

5.77

8/27/10

Nordson Corp.

NDSN

47

54.85

0.77

0.1050

10.53

8/27/10

Conn. Water Service

CTWS

41

25.58

3.64

0.2325

2.20

8/30/10

MGE Energy Inc.

MGEE

34

40.53

3.70

0.3751

1.82

8/30/10

Altria Group Inc.

MO

42

26.41

5.76

0.3800

8.57

9/13/10

Community Trust Banc.

CTBI

30

27.72

4.40

0.3050

1.67

9/13/10

Leggett & Platt Inc.

LEG

39

24.38

4.43

0.2700

3.85

9/13/10

Cincinnati Financial

CINF

50

29.18

5.48

0.4000

1.27

9/20/10

Federal Realty Inv. Trust

FRT

43

85.18

3.15

0.6700

1.52

9/21/10

Illinois Tool Works

ITW

47

56.49

2.41

0.3400

9.68

9/28/10

Dividend Contenders (10-24 years):



No.

6/30


Qtrly

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Murphy Oil Corp.

MUR

15

65.66

1.68

0.2750

10.00

8/12/10

Alterra Capital Holdings

ALTE

10

22.30

2.15

0.1200

20.00

8/13/10

Badger Meter Inc.

BMI

18

36.99

1.51

0.1400

16.67

8/27/10

Chesapeake Financial

OTCQB:CPKF

18

12.50

3.52

0.1100

4.76

8/30/10

Harleysville Group

HGIC

24

31.17

4.62

0.3600

10.77

9/13/10

First Capital Inc.

FCAP

10

17.90

4.25

0.1900

5.56

9/14/10

Vector Group Ltd.

VGR

13

17.79

8.99

0.4000

5.00

9/14/10

BancFirst Corp. OK

BANF

17

38.60

2.59

0.2500

8.70

9/28/10

Corporate Office Prop.

OFC

13

31.11

5.30

0.4125

5.10

9/28/10

Getty Realty Corp.

GTY

11

25.23

7.61

0.4800

1.05

9/28/10

HCC Insurance Holdings

HCC

14

31.50

1.84

0.1450

7.41

9/29/10

Dividend Challengers (5-9 years):



No.

6/30


Qtrly

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Maxim Integrated Products

MXIM

9

25.56

3.29

0.2100

5.00

8/18/10

Ritchie Brothers Auction.

RBA

8

27.49

1.53

0.1050

5.00

8/18/10

Steris Corp.

STE

6

34.98

1.72

0.1500

36.36

8/20/10

Crane Company

CR

6

49.41

1.86

0.2300

15.00

8/27/10

Delta Natural Gas

DGAS

6

31.65

4.30

0.3400

4.62

8/27/10

ITC Holdings Corp.

ITC

6

71.77

1.87

0.3350

4.69

8/30/10

Westlake Chemical Corp.

WLK

7

51.90

0.49

0.0635

10.43

8/30/10

Bob Evans Farms

BOBE

5

34.97

2.29

0.2000

11.11

9/3/10

Harris Corp.

HRS

9

45.06

2.22

0.2500

13.64

9/6/10

BHP Billiton Ltd.

BHP

8

94.63

1.84

0.8700

6.10

9/8/10

BHP Billiton plc

BBL

8

78.43

2.22

0.8700

6.10

9/8/10

Shire plc

SHPGY

7

94.21

0.37

0.1730

16.50

9/8/10

Atrion Corp.

ATRI

8

197.80

0.85

0.4200

16.67

9/13/10

China Mobile Limited

CHL

5

46.78

3.95

0.9250

4.28

9/13/10

G&K Services Inc.

GKSR

5

33.86

1.12

0.0950

26.67

9/14/10

Alliance Financial Corp.

ALNC

5

30.53

3.93

0.3000

7.14

9/15/10

National Semiconductor

NSM

6

24.61

1.63

0.1000

25.00

9/16/10

International Flav. & Fragr.

IFF

8

64.24

1.68

0.2700

8.00

9/20/10

Hawkins Inc.

HWKN

6

36.22

1.66

0.3000

7.14

9/22/10

Nippon Tele & Tele

NTT

9

24.18

2.86

0.3459

10.72

9/27/10

NTT DoCoMo Inc.

DCM

9

17.91

3.32

0.2973

9.93

9/27/10

Acme United Corp.

ACU

7

9.49

2.53

0.0600

20.00

9/29/10

Republic Services Inc.

RSG

8

30.85

2.59

0.2000

5.26

9/29/10

Sanderson Farms Inc.

SAFM

9

47.78

1.42

0.1700

13.33

10/1/10

In addition, I anticipate that five companies in the Appendix (on the Note tab) will boost their dividends during this period, marking their fifth straight year of increases and promoting them to Challenger status:

Company

Symbol

Ex-Div

Enbridge Energy Partners

EEP

8/3/10

Kaydon Corp.

KDN

9/9/10

Broadridge Financial Sol.

BR

9/13/10

Frisch's Restaurants Inc.

FRS

9/16/10

Covidien plc

COV

09/30/10

Also, in the next couple of weeks, about two dozen MLPs (Master Limited Partnerships) are likely to increase their payouts, which they tend to do each quarter.

Not all of the above 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: 51 Dividend Increases Expected in the Next 10 Weeks