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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.

Activity Picking Up

In recent articles in this series, I mentioned that we had passed the very slowest period of increases during the year in terms of declarations, and that the number of approaching dividend increases seemed to be picking up. Of the 45 companies listed in my August 11 article, 15 announced increases and only one plans to pay the same amount for a fifth quarter, so the majority are carried over here, joined by companies with Ex-Dividend Dates in late October and early November.

Notable increases included Year 51 by Cincinnati Financial (NASDAQ:CINF), the 48th year of higher dividends by Nordson Corp. (NASDAQ:NDSN), and the 5th year of increases by Broadridge Financial Solutions (NYSE:BR), making it the latest Dividend Challenger.

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.

7/29

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Altria Group Inc.

MO

42

26.30

5.78

0.3800

8.57

9/13/10

Brady Corp.

BRC

25

29.60

2.43

0.1800

2.86

10/6/10

Clarcor Inc.

CLC

46

44.06

0.95

0.1050

7.69

10/6/10

RPM International Inc.

RPM

37

21.08

3.98

0.2100

2.44

10/14/10

Eaton Vance Corp.

EV

30

26.82

2.68

0.1800

12.50

10/27/10

Northwest Natural Gas

NWN

55

44.61

3.90

0.4350

4.82

10/27/10

Dividend Contenders (10-24 years):

No.

7/29

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Vector Group Ltd.

VGR

13

17.51

9.14

0.4000

5.00

9/14/10

BancFirst Corp. OK

BANF

17

38.14

2.62

0.2500

8.70

9/28/10

Corporate Office Properties

OFC

13

31.07

5.31

0.4125

5.10

9/28/10

Getty Realty Corp.

GTY

11

23.20

8.28

0.4800

1.05

9/28/10

HCC Insurance Holdings

HCC

14

30.13

1.92

0.1450

7.41

9/29/10

Atlantic Tele Network Inc.

ATNI

13

37.77

2.33

0.2200

10.00

10/4/10

Citizens Financial Services

OTCQB:CZFS

12

40.00

2.60

0.2600

1.96

10/13/10

West Pharmaceutical Svcs

WST

18

43.87

1.55

0.1700

6.25

10/18/10

Infosys Technologies Ltd

INFY

14

62.22

0.91

0.2827

16.56

10/19/10

Matthews International

MATW

16

36.19

0.88

0.0800

14.29

10/21/10

Brown & Brown Inc.

BRO

17

21.81

1.47

0.0800

3.23

11/1/10

1st Source Corp.

SRCE

21

23.05

2.78

0.1600

6.67

11/3/10

Dividend Challengers (5-9 years):

No.

7/29

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Harris Corp.

HRS

9

39.87

2.51

0.2500

13.64

9/6/10

Shire plc

SHPGY

7

104.00

0.33

0.1730

16.50

9/8/10

G&K Services Inc.

GKSR

5

34.07

1.12

0.0950

26.67

9/14/10

Alliance Financial Corp.

ALNC

5

32.21

3.73

0.3000

7.14

9/15/10

National Semiconductor

NSM

6

24.72

1.62

0.1000

25.00

9/16/10

Nippon Tele & Tele

NTT

9

24.74

2.80

0.3459

10.72

9/27/10

NTT DoCoMo Inc.

DCM

9

18.54

3.21

0.2973

9.93

9/27/10

Sanderson Farms Inc.

SAFM

9

46.22

1.47

0.1700

13.33

10/1/10

Verizon Communications

VZ

6

35.29

5.53

0.4875

2.63

10/6/10

Accenture plc

ACN

5

59.14

1.39

0.4125

10.00

10/13/10

American Financial Group

AFG

5

33.98

1.91

0.1625

18.18

10/13/10

Cracker Barrel Old Country

CBRL

8

45.11

1.95

0.2200

10.00

10/13/10

Senior Housing Properties

SNH

7

23.94

6.18

0.3700

2.78

10/13/10

Yum! Brands Inc.

YUM

7

52.82

1.89

0.2500

19.05

10/13/10

Eagle Financial Services

OTCQB:EFSI

7

16.30

4.42

0.1800

5.88

10/28/10

Texas Instruments

TXN

7

29.75

1.75

0.1300

8.33

10/28/10

Bank of Marin Bancorp

BMRC

6

38.51

1.66

0.1600

6.67

11/1/10

Noble Corp.

NE

7

36.87

1.46

0.1347

2.51

11/4/10

In addition, I anticipate that two 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

Frisch's Restaurants Inc.

FRS

9/16/10

Covidien plc

COV

9/30/10

About two dozen MLPs (Master Limited Partnerships) are likely to increase their payouts, as they tend to do each quarter, again in late October or early November.

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.

Source: 38 Dividend Increases Expected In The Next 10 Weeks