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In compiling the Dividend Champions list (found here) 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.

Beyond Thanksgiving

In recent articles in this series, I have shown companies expected to increase their dividends soon, up to 10 weeks ahead of their Ex-Dividend Date. But, as SA Contributor Clay King mentioned in the comments to my previous update (here), McDonald's (MCD) is expected to announce its next increase in a couple of weeks, more than two months before its Ex-Dividend Date. So I've extended the “forward look” to more than 11 weeks for this article, although I will probably return to the 10-week pattern for my next update.

Notable increases since the previous update included Year 43 by Altria Group (MO), the 26th year of higher dividends by Brady Corp. (BRC), and the 10th year of increases by Harris Corp. (HRS), making it the latest Dividend Contender.

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

Dividend Champions (25 or more years):

No.

8/31

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Clarcor Inc.

(CLC)

46

46.54

0.90

0.1050

7.69

10/6/10

RPM International Inc.

(RPM)

37

20.84

4.03

0.2100

2.44

10/14/10

Eaton Vance Corp.

(EV)

30

24.41

2.95

0.1800

12.50

10/27/10

Northwest Natural Gas

(NWN)

55

45.22

3.85

0.4350

4.82

10/27/10

Cintas Corp.

(CTAS)

28

31.98

1.53

0.4900

2.08

11/10/10

Emerson Electric

(EMR)

54

46.55

2.96

0.3450

2.99

11/10/10

Middlesex Water Co.

(MSEX)

38

18.19

4.01

0.1825

1.39

11/11/10

Vectren Corp.

(VVC)

51

27.37

5.04

0.3450

1.47

11/11/10

AFLAC Inc.

(AFL)

28

37.72

3.18

0.3000

7.14

11/15/10

Stepan Company

(SCL)

43

75.65

1.37

0.2600

8.33

11/26/10

Tennant Company

(TNC)

39

43.96

1.55

0.1700

21.43

11/26/10

McDonald's Corp.

(MCD)

34

90.41

2.70

0.6100

10.91

11/29/10

Dividend Contenders (10-24 years):

No.

8/31

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Corporate Office Prop.

(OFC)

13

26.79

6.16

0.4125

5.10

9/28/10

Getty Realty Corp.

(GTY)

11

19.01

10.10

0.4800

1.05

9/28/10

Atlantic Tele Network Inc.

(ATNI)

13

33.20

2.65

0.2200

10.00

10/4/10

Citizens Financial Svcs

(OTCQB:CZFS)

12

37.00

2.81

0.2600

1.96

10/13/10

West Pharmaceutical

(WST)

18

40.12

1.69

0.1700

6.25

10/18/10

Matthews International

(MATW)

16

33.41

0.96

0.0800

14.29

10/21/10

Brown & Brown Inc.

(BRO)

17

21.01

1.52

0.0800

3.23

11/1/10

1st Source Corp.

(SRCE)

21

22.75

2.81

0.1600

6.67

11/3/10

Shenandoah Telecomm.

(SHEN)

14

13.73

2.40

0.3300

3.13

11/5/10

StanCorp Financial Group

(SFG)

13

30.55

2.82

0.8600

7.50

11/17/10

Atmos Energy

(ATO)

23

33.54

4.05

0.3400

1.49

11/23/10

Dividend Challengers (5-9 years):

No.

8/31

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

National Semiconductor

(NSM)

6

24.90

1.61

0.1000

25.00

9/16/10

Sanderson Farms Inc.

(SAFM)

9

39.20

1.73

0.1700

13.33

10/1/10

American Financial Group

(AFG)

5

33.28

1.95

0.1625

18.18

10/13/10

Cracker Barrel Old Country

(CBRL)

8

42.36

2.08

0.2200

10.00

10/13/10

Senior Housing Prop. Tr.

(SNH)

7

23.79

6.22

0.3700

2.78

10/13/10

Yum! Brands Inc.

(YUM)

7

54.37

1.84

0.2500

19.05

10/13/10

Eagle Financial Services

(OTCQB:EFSI)

7

16.95

4.25

0.1800

5.88

10/28/10

Texas Instruments

(TXN)

7

26.21

1.98

0.1300

8.33

10/28/10

Bank of Marin Bancorp

(BMRC)

6

35.61

1.80

0.1600

6.67

11/1/10

Noble Corp.

(NE)

7

33.76

1.60

0.1347

2.51

11/4/10

Kroger Company

(KR)

5

23.56

1.78

0.1050

10.53

11/11/10

Somerset Hills Bancorp

(SOMH)

6

7.79

3.08

0.0600

20.00

11/12/10

Microsoft Corp.

(MSFT)

6

26.60

2.41

0.1600

23.08

11/16/10

Perrigo Company

(PRGO)

8

94.74

0.30

0.0700

12.00

11/24/10

Strayer Education Inc.

(STRA)

7

94.65

4.23

1.0000

33.33

11/24/10

Aaron's Inc.

(AAN)

6

26.64

0.20

0.0130

8.33

11/29/10

Lockheed Martin

(LMT)

8

74.19

4.04

0.7500

19.05

11/29/10

TransAlta Corp.

(TAC)

5

22.55

4.96

0.2795

8.12

11/29/10

In addition, I anticipate that several 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

CMS Energy Corp.

(CMS)

11/3/10

National CineMedia Inc.

(NCMI)

11/16/10

Evercore Partners Inc.

(EVR)

11/23/10

Goodrich Corp.

(GR)

11/29/10

About two dozen MLPs (Master Limited Partnerships) are also likely to increase their payouts again, as they tend to do each quarter, 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.

Coming Up

This article is part of my regular schedule of submissions; the following are expected in the next month or so:

Overdue Dividend Increases: September 18

Companies Expected to Increase Dividends: September 26

Dividend Champions Update: September 30. The spreadsheet and PDF will be updated after the market close and posted in their usual location (see first line of this article).

Dividend Champions: Smackdown XIX: October 1

Note that the dates are when I am likely to submit the articles; SA may publish them on a slightly delayed basis. I may also submit one or two other articles during the month, depending on reader interest. Please feel free to list questions or suggestions in the Comment section below.

Disclosure: I am long RPM, EMR, AFL, TNC, YUM, MSFT, LMT.

Source: 47 Dividend Hikes Expected By The End Of November