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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.

More Happy Holidays

As mentioned last time, I've modified the Expected Increase series to reflect a more SA-friendly format by separating the Champions, Contenders, and Challengers into distinct groupings, so please look for the other articles, which I hope will be published about the same time. In the next 10 weeks, no fewer than four companies with streaks of over 40 years should extend their records further.

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

Dividend Champions (25 or more years):

No.

10/31

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Brown-Forman Class B

(NYSE:BF.B)

27

74.73

1.71

0.3200

6.67

12/3/10

Becton Dickinson & Co.

(NYSE:BDX)

38

78.23

2.10

0.4100

10.81

12/8/10

Lancaster Colony Corp.

(NASDAQ:LANC)

48

66.52

1.98

0.3300

10.00

12/8/10

Valspar Corp.

(NYSE:VAL)

30

34.87

2.06

0.1800

12.50

12/23/10

Franklin Resources

(NYSE:BEN)

30

106.63

0.94

0.2500

13.64

12/29/10

McCormick & Co.

(NYSE:MKC)

25

48.56

2.31

0.2800

7.69

12/29/10

Nucor Corp.

(NYSE:NUE)

38

37.78

3.84

0.3625

0.69

12/29/10

ABM Industries Inc.

(NYSE:ABM)

44

20.22

2.77

0.1400

3.70

1/4/11

Bowl America Class A

(NYSEMKT:BWL.A)

39

12.65

5.06

0.1600

3.23

1/4/11

AT&T Inc.

(NYSE:T)

27

29.31

5.87

0.4300

2.38

1/5/11

Sysco Corp.

(NYSE:SYY)

41

27.72

3.75

0.2600

4.00

1/5/11

Hormel Foods Corp.

(NYSE:HRL)

45

29.47

1.73

0.1275

21.43

1/20/11

*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.

Every Picture Tells a Story

As a bonus, I'm inserting one of Chuck Carnevale's F.A.S.T. Graphs below, highlighting one of the companies listed above. When the stock's price line has moved into the green area, it indicates that the stock is undervalued in relation to its earnings.

Please feel free to ask questions or make suggestions in the Comment section below.

Disclosure: I am long BDX, BEN, MKC, T, SYY, HRL.

Source: Dividend Champs: 12 Hikes Expected By Jan. 20