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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 companies raise their payout about the same time every year, I can say with some confidence that they are likely to do so again.

Happy Holidays

In this article, I'm modifying the Expected Increase series to reflect a more reader-friendly format by separating the Champions, Contenders and Challengers into distinct groupings, so please look for the other lists, which I hope will be published about the same time. Leading the way this time, we should see Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR) and Vectren (NYSE:VVC) extend their streaks of more than 50 years of higher dividends, and we can hope to see more generous increases by those two, along with the stocks at the bottom of the list.

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.

9/30

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Emerson Electric

(EMR)

54

41.31

3.34

0.3450

2.99

11/10/10

Vectren Corp.

(VVC)

51

27.08

5.10

0.3450

1.47

11/11/10

Tennant Company

(NYSE:TNC)

39

35.37

1.92

0.1700

21.43

11/26/10

Brown-Forman Class B*

(NYSE:BF.B)

27

70.14

1.82

0.3200

6.67

12/3/10

Automatic Data Proc.

(NASDAQ:ADP)

36

47.15

3.05

0.3600

5.88

12/8/10

Becton Dickinson & Co.

(NYSE:BDX)

38

73.32

2.24

0.4100

10.81

12/8/10

Lancaster Colony Corp.

(NASDAQ:LANC)

48

61.01

2.16

0.3300

10.00

12/8/10

Valspar Corp.

(NYSE:VAL)

30

31.21

2.31

0.1800

12.50

12/23/10

Franklin Resources

(NYSE:BEN)

30

95.64

1.05

0.2500

13.64

12/29/10

McCormick & Co.

(NYSE:MKC)

25

46.16

2.43

0.2800

7.69

12/29/10

Nucor Corp.

(NYSE:NUE)

38

31.64

4.58

0.3625

0.69

12/29/10

ABM Industries Inc.

(NYSE:ABM)

44

19.06

2.94

0.1400

3.70

1/4/11

Bowl America Class A

(NYSEMKT:BWL.A)

39

12.67

5.05

0.1600

3.23

1/4/11

AT&T Inc.

(NYSE:T)

27

28.52

6.03

0.4300

2.38

1/5/11

Sysco Corp.

(NYSE:SYY)

41

25.90

4.02

0.2600

4.00

1/5/11

Universal Corp.

(NYSE:UVV)

40

35.86

5.35

0.4800

2.13

1/6/11

*Also Class A

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.

Disclosure: I am long EMR, TNC, BDX, BEN, MKC, T, SYY

Source: Dividend Champions: 16 Increases Expected By January 6