Dividend Champions: 21 Increases Expected By March 31

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Includes: ADM, APD, BKH, BMS, CBSH, CINF, CWT, ED, GPC, HCP, KMB, KO, MMM, ORI, SHW, SJW, SPGI, STR, TDS, TROW, WMT
by: David Fish

Summary

Genuine Parts' streak poised to hit 60 years.

Will Wal-Mart's yield grow as its price withers?

How large will 3M's increase be?

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. I have separated the Champions (25 or more years of higher dividends), Contenders (10-24 years), and Challengers (5-9 years) into distinct groupings, so please look for the other articles, which I hope will be published about the same time. Note that "CCC" refers to the combination of Champions, Contenders, and Challengers.

Increases Start to Build Momentum

As mentioned last month, dividend increase announcements pick up early each year as we head into Shareholder Meeting Season in April and May. So, after January's slow starts, activity will pick up in February and accelerate in March, as you can see in the table below. The number of announcements for all Champions, Contenders, Challengers, and Near-Challengers expected in the next 11 weeks has increased from to 111 a month ago to 190 now, and that figure should move higher as the Spring progresses.

The table below coincides with the usual "forward look" of about 11 weeks for this article. 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):

Company

Ticker

No.

12/31

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

DGR

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

5-yr

California Water Service

(NYSE:CWT)

48

23.27

2.88

3.08

2/5/15

0.67

2.4

HCP Inc.

(NYSE:HCP)

30

38.24

5.91

3.67

2/5/15

2.26

4.0

SJW Corp.

(NYSE:SJW)

48

29.65

2.63

4.00

2/5/15

0.78

2.8

3M Company

(NYSE:MMM)

57

150.64

2.72

19.88

2/11/15

4.10

14.3

Black Hills Corp.

(NYSE:BKH)

45

46.43

3.49

3.85

2/11/15

1.62

2.4

Archer Daniels Midland

(NYSE:ADM)

40

36.68

3.05

16.67

2/12/15

1.12

13.3

Bemis Company

(NYSE:BMS)

32

44.69

2.51

3.70

2/13/15

1.12

4.0

Consolidated Edison

(NYSE:ED)

41

64.27

4.05

3.17

2/13/15

2.60

1.8

McGraw Hill Financial Inc.

(MHFI)

42

98.58

1.34

10.00

2/23/15

1.32

7.0

Questar Corp.

(NYSE:STR)

36

19.48

4.31

10.53

2/25/15

0.84

9.2

Sherwin-Williams Co.

(NYSE:SHW)

37

259.60

1.03

21.82

2/26/15

2.68

13.2

Commerce Bancshares

(NASDAQ:CBSH)

47

42.54

2.01

5.00

3/4/15

0.86

5.1

Genuine Parts Co.

(NYSE:GPC)

59

85.89

2.86

6.96

3/4/15

2.46

8.2

Kimberly-Clark Corp.

(NYSE:KMB)

43

127.30

2.77

4.76

3/4/15

3.52

7.1

Old Republic International

(NYSE:ORI)

34

18.63

3.97

1.37

3/4/15

0.74

1.4

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

(NYSE:WMT)

42

61.30

3.20

2.08

3/11/15

1.96

10.6

Coca-Cola Company

(NYSE:KO)

53

42.96

3.07

8.20

3/12/15

1.32

8.4

T. Rowe Price Group

(NASDAQ:TROW)

29

71.49

2.91

18.18

3/12/15

2.08

14.0

Telephone & Data Sys.

(NYSE:TDS)

41

25.89

2.18

5.22

3/12/15

0.56

4.9

Cincinnati Financial

(NASDAQ:CINF)

55

59.17

3.11

4.55

3/16/15

1.84

2.8

Air Products & Chem.

(NYSE:APD)

33

130.11

2.49

5.19

3/30/15

3.24

10.8

Click to enlarge

MR=Most Recent; LY=Last Year; DGR=Dividend Growth Rate through 2014

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. I'm attaching the chart below.

Click to enlarge

Disclosure: I am/we are long MMM,BMS,GPC,KMB.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.