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If you haven't already, I highly suggest learning to use Google Docs - it's Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) answer to Microsoft Office (NASDAQ:MSFT), except it's free to use, and you can store the documents in the "cloud" and access your files from anywhere.

The spreadsheet function is especially useful, since there are a number of commands that directly link it to Google Finance, and that allows real time tracking of stock prices, dividend yields, and other pertinent information.

I keep a number of such spreadsheets, which alert me to a number of metrics, such as stocks that drop below a certain p/e, increasing yields, or when prices are near their 52 week low/high. It's a powerful and relatively simple tool for tracking large baskets of stocks, especially since Excel has never made it easy to track real time stock prices or other data.

I use these spreadsheets to help narrow down the large number of dividend paying stocks to those that may be worth analyzing, or buying, at that moment. One metric, but certainly not the only one I use to select securities, is whether the stock is within 5% of it's 52 week low. This of course does not mean I buy the stock, or that it is selling at a good price. I merely use this trigger as a recommendation for stocks that deserve closer inspection.

From my spreadsheets, here is a list of 25 companies with strong histories of raising dividends, that are trading within 5% of their 52 week lows. Some of these companies I have analyzed before, and some are on my list to examine more closely when time permits.

AT&T (NYSE:T)

Price - $27.41

52 week low - $27.20

Difference - 0.7%

AT&T is a provider of telecommunications services in the United States and worldwide. These include wireless communications, local exchange services, long-distance services, data/broadband and Internet services, video services, managed networking, wholesale services and directory advertising and publishing.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 27 years and currently yields 6.3%.

Becton Dickinson & Co. (NYSE:BDX)

Price - $71.11

52 week low - $69.59

Difference - 2.2%

Becton, Dickinson and Company is a global medical technology company engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of medical devices, instrument systems and reagents used by healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, the pharmaceutical industry and the general public.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 38 years and currently yields 2.5%.

Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS)

Price - $33.26

52 week low - $32.68

Difference - 1.8%

Harris Corporation is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 10 years and currently yields 3.4%.

Bemis Company Inc. (NYSE:BMS)

Price - $27.62

52 week low - $27.21

Difference - 1.5%

Bemis Company is a manufacturer of flexible packaging products and pressure sensitive materials, selling to customers throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. It operates in two segments: flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 28 years and currently yields 3.5%.

Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI)

Price - $17.35

52 week low - $17.33

Difference - 0.1%

Pitney Bowes Inc. is a provider of mail processing equipment and integrated mail solutions. The company offers a range of equipment, supplies, software, services and end-to-end solutions which enable its customers to manage and integrate physical and digital communication channels.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 29 years and currently yields 8.5%.

Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE:AVP)

Price - $16.09

52 week low - $16.09

Difference - n/a

Avon Products, Inc. creates, manufactures and markets beauty and non-beauty-related products.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 22 years and currently yields 5.7%.

HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HCC)

Price - $25.60

52 week low - $24.66

Difference - 3.8%

HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. is a specialty insurer with offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and Ireland. The company underwrites a variety of relatively non-correlated specialty lines of business in approximately 180 countries, including property and casualty, accident and health, surety, credit and aviation.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 15 years and currently yields 2.5%.

Met-Pro Corporation (NYSE:MPR)

Price - $8.20

52 week low - $8.03

Difference - 2.1%

Met-Pro Corporation manufactures and sells product recovery and pollution control equipment for purification of air and liquids, fluid handling equipment for corrosive, abrasive and high temperature liquids, and filtration and purification products.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 11 years, and currently yields 3.5%.

Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN)

Price - $91.63

52 week low - $87.71

Difference - 4.5%

Franklin Templeton Investments, is a global investment management organization offering investment choices under the Franklin, Templeton, Mutual Series, Bissett, Fiduciary and Darby brand names. The company operates in two segments: investment management and related services, and banking/finance.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 30 years and currently yields 1.1%.

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE:WRE)

Price - $25.64

52 week low - $25.45

Difference - 0.7%

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust is a REIT that owns and operates real property in the greater Washington metro region. It owns a diversified portfolio of office buildings, medical office buildings, industrial/flex properties, multifamily buildings and retail centers.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 39 years and currently yields 6.8%.

Badge Meter, Inc. (NYSE:BMI)

Price - $27.83

52 week low - $26.91

Difference - 3.4%

Badger Meter, Inc. is a manufacturer and marketer of products incorporating liquid flow measurement and control technologies serving markets globally.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 19 years and currently yields 2.3%.

C.R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE:BCR)

Price - $83.37

52 week low - $80.80

Difference - 3.1%

C. R. Bard, Inc. is engaged in the design, manufacture, packaging, distribution and sale of medical, surgical, diagnostic and patient care devices.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 40 years and currently yields 0.9%.

Corporate Office Properties Trust (NYSE:OFC)

Price - $19.37

52 week low - $19.35

Difference - 0.1%

Corporate Office Properties Trust is a specialty office real estate investment trust, which focuses on the specialized tenant requirements in the United States Government and defense information technology, and data sectors. It acquires, develops, manages and leases office and data center properties that are concentrated in office parks.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 13 years and currently yields 8.5%.

Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc. (NYSE:TR)

Price - $22.88

52 week low - $22.82

Difference - 0.2%

Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc., is engaged in the manufacture and sale of confectionery products. The company’s products are primarily sold under the brand names: Tootsie Roll, Charms Blow Pop, Junior Mints, Charleston Chew, Sugar Daddy, Andes, and others.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 46 years and currently yields 1.4%.

Old Republic International Corporation (NYSE:ORI)

Price - $7.29

52 week low - $7.15

Difference - 2%

Old Republic International Corporation is a holding company engaged in the business of insurance underwriting. The company conducts its business through a number of regulated insurance company subsidiaries organized into three major segments: general, mortgage guaranty and title insurance.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 30 years and currently yields 9.6%.

Arrow Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:AROW)

Price - $21.58

52 week low - $21.50

Difference - 0.4%

Arrow Financial Corporation is a bank holding company that owns two nationally chartered banks in New York, a health and life insurance agency, a property and casualty insurance agency, a registered investment adviser that advises its mutual funds and real estate investment trust.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 18 years and currently yields 4.6%.

Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS)

Price - $51.65

52 week low - $51.60

Difference - 0.09%

Novartis AG provides healthcare solutions. The company’s portfolio includes medicines, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools, generic pharmaceuticals and consumer health products.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 10 years and currently yields 4.6%.

Stryker Corporation (NYSE:SYK)

Price - $45.52

52 week low - $43.73

Difference - 4%

Stryker Corporation is a medical technology company. The company provides orthopedic implants, as well as medical and surgical equipment. It has two segments: orthopedic implants and med-surg equipment.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 18 years and currently yields 1.6%.

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE:WST)

Price - $35.60

52 week low - $35.50

Difference - 0.3%

West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. is a manufacturer of components and systems for the packaging and delivery of injectable drugs, as well as delivery system components for the pharmaceutical, healthcare and consumer products industries.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 19 years and currently yields 2%.

Inergy, LP (NRGY)

Price - $23.48

52 week low - $22.70

Difference - 3.4%

Inergy, L.P. owns and operates a retail and wholesale propane supply, marketing and distribution business. It also owns and operates a growing midstream business that includes four natural gas storage facilities.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 10 years and currently yields 12%.

Expeditors International of Washington (NASDAQ:EXPD)

Price - $40.00

52 week low - $38.25

Difference - 4.5%

Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. is engaged in the business of providing global logistics services. The company offers its customers a network supporting the movement and positioning of goods. Its services include the consolidation or forwarding of air and ocean freight. It also acts as a customs broker.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 17 years and currently yields 1.3%.

AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN)

Price - $42.53

52 week low - $40.89

Difference - 4%

AstraZeneca PLC is a global biopharmaceutical company. AstraZeneca discovers, develops and commercializes prescription medicines for six areas of healthcare: cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, infection, neuroscience, oncology, and respiratory and inflammation.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 8 years and currently yields 6.4%.

The York Water Company (NASDAQ:YORW)

Price - $16.53

52 week low - $15.80

Difference - 4.6%

The York Water Company is engaged in the business of impounding, purifying to meet or exceed safe drinking water standards and distribute water. The company operates within its franchised territory, which covers 39 municipalities in Pennsylvania.

The company has increased its dividend for the past 14 years and currently yields 3.2%.

Disclaimer: This list provides general information, not individually targeted personalized advice. Investors should assess for themselves whether the advice is appropriate to their individual investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs before making any investment decision.

Source: 25 Companies With Strong Yields, Currently Within 5% Of Their 52 Week Lows