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Accounts receivable is a big part of revenue for many companies, but it is also a potential source of problems.

Receivables represent money earned but not yet collected, so when receivables become a larger part of the revenue reported by a company, it indicates lower quality revenues. This is because there is no guarantee that the money will be paid back in full.

We ran a screen on dividend champions (companies that have consistently raised their dividend over the past 25 years). We screened these stocks for those that have seen positive trends in their accounts receivable, with increases in quarterly revenue year-over-year outpacing changes in quarterly accounts receivable. We also screened for companies that have seen a decrease in accounts receivable as a percent of current assets year-over-year.

‪Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.‬





We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.

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Do you think these stocks pay reliable dividend yields? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

List sorted by difference between change in revenue and accounts receivable.

1. Walgreen Co. (NYSE:WAG):
Engages in the operation of a chain of drugstores in the United States. Market cap of $29.40B. Dividend yield at 2.77%, payout ratio at 25.20%. MRQ revenue has increased 6.81% ($18,371M vs. $17,199M y/y) while MRQ accounts receivable has decreased 4.80% ($2,598M vs. $2,729M y/y). Accounts receivable/current assets has decreased from 22.12% to 19.98%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-05-31 to 3 months ending 2010-05-31. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 9.88% over the last week.

2. Lancaster Colony Corporation (NASDAQ:LANC):
Engages in the manufacture and marketing of consumer products focusing primarily on specialty foods for the retail and foodservice markets in the United States. Market cap of $1.63B. Dividend yield at 2.22%, payout ratio at 33.52%. MRQ revenue has increased 3.24% ($256.03M vs. $248M y/y) while MRQ accounts receivable has decreased 5.92% ($63.76M vs. $67.77M y/y). Accounts receivable/current assets has decreased from 21.35% to 19.14%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-30 to 3 months ending 2010-06-30. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 15.52% (equivalent to 24.15 days of average volume). The stock has gained 29.57% over the last year.

3. Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (NYSE:APD):
Provides atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, equipment, and services worldwide. Market cap of $15.74B. Dividend yield at 3.14%, payout ratio at 39.27%. MRQ revenue has increased 14.45% ($2,577.8M vs. $2,252.3M y/y) while MRQ accounts receivable has increased 6.11% ($1,960.3M vs. $1,847.5M y/y). Accounts receivable/current assets has decreased from 62.72% to 59.83%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-30 to 3 months ending 2010-06-30. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.62% over the last week.

4. The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO):
Distributes, and markets nonalcoholic beverages worldwide. Market cap of $150.21B. Dividend yield at 2.87%, payout ratio at 33.38%. MRQ revenue has increased 46.84% ($12,737M vs. $8,674M y/y) while MRQ accounts receivable has increased 40.71% ($5,630M vs. $4,001M y/y). Accounts receivable/current assets has decreased from 21.54% to 21.21%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-07-01 to 3 months ending 2010-07-02. The stock has gained 14.27% over the last year.

5. Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (NYSE:SWK): Provides hand tools, mechanical access solutions, and electronic security solutions. Market cap of $8.12B. Dividend yield at 3.40%, payout ratio at 40.64%. MRQ revenue has increased 10.89% ($2,623.2M vs. $2,365.6M y/y) while MRQ accounts receivable has increased 4.81% ($1,624.6M vs. $1,550M y/y). Accounts receivable/current assets has decreased from 31.81% to 30.43%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-07-02 to 3 months ending 2010-07-03. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 6.85% over the last week.

6. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (MHP):
Provides various information services for financial, educational, and business information markets worldwide. Market cap of $12.03B. Dividend yield at 2.50%, payout ratio at 34.22%. MRQ revenue has increased 7.24% ($1,580.8M vs. $1,474.06M y/y) while MRQ accounts receivable has increased 2.74% ($1,021.3M vs. $994.04M y/y). Accounts receivable/current assets has decreased from 34.18% to 32.67%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-30 to 3 months ending 2010-06-30. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.55% over the last week.

7. Brady Corp. (NYSE:BRC):
Manufactures and markets identification solutions and specialty products that identify and protect premises, products, and people. Market cap of $1.35B. Dividend yield at 2.90%, payout ratio at 35.25%. MRQ revenue has increased 6.26% ($343.1M vs. $322.89M y/y) while MRQ accounts receivable has increased 3.10% ($228.48M vs. $221.62M y/y). Accounts receivable/current assets has decreased from 33.13% to 30.13%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-07-31 to 3 months ending 2010-07-31. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.96% over the last week.

*Dividend champions sourced from DRIP Investing, accounting data sourced from Google Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: 7 Dividend Champions With Encouraging Receivable Trends