Dividend Challengers (And Near-Challengers): 119 Increases Expected In The Next 11 Weeks

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Includes: AGM, AGO, AIT, AJG, ALE, ALL, ANTM, ATVI, AVB, BAH, BIP, BURCA, CCE, CEB, CECE, CFNL, CHS, CLDB, CLDT, CMCSA, CME, CMS, CNS, CPSI, CPT, CSCO, CXW, DNB, DNKN, DOX, DPS, DRH, DSW, EFX, EMCF, ENH, ETN, EWBC, FAF, FFG, FIBK, FIS, FLIR, FLS, FMC, FORR, FXCB, GATX, GLW, GME, GNC, GSM, HCI, HD, HMN, HOG, HRC, IBOC, ILG, INDB, IR, ISBC, JWN, KSS, KSU, KW, LB, LEA, LFGP, LMAT, LPLA, LVS, MGA, MJN, MKTX, MLR, MOFG, MTN, MYE, NRG, NWBI, NWL, ONB, PCTI, PEG, PEI, PKG, PLOW, PNBI, PRI, QNBC, RL, RLJ, ROIC, RS, SFNC, SGB, SLB, SNI, SPTN, SSB, STJ, TWX, TXRH, TYPE, UBOH, UFS, UNP, UPS, USPH, WAFD, WASH, WDC, WRI, WSBC, WYN, XRAY, XYL
by: David Fish

Summary

Four Companies set to become Contenders.

35 Companies Look to join the CCC Universe.

Plenty of Double-Digit Increases are on tap.

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 Challengers (5-9 years):

Company

Ticker

No.

12/31

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

DGR

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

5-yr

Chatham Lodging Trust

(NYSE:CLDT)

6

20.48

5.86

25.00

1/28/15

1.20

46.5

East West Bancorp

(NASDAQ:EWBC)

5

41.56

1.92

11.11

1/29/15

0.80

82.1

First Interstate Bancsystem

(NASDAQ:FIBK)

6

29.07

2.75

25.00

1/29/15

0.80

18.8

Washington Federal Inc.

(NASDAQ:WAFD)

5

23.83

2.18

18.18

1/29/15

0.52

21.1

Cardinal Financial Corp.

(NASDAQ:CFNL)

6

22.75

1.93

10.00

2/3/15

0.44

40.6

Northwest Bancshares Inc.

(NASDAQ:NWBI)

6

13.39

4.18

7.69

2/3/15

0.56

7.0

CMS Energy Corp.

(NYSE:CMS)

9

36.08

3.22

7.41

2/4/15

1.16

11.9

PCTEL Inc.

(NASDAQ:PCTI)

5

4.55

4.40

25.00

2/4/15

0.20

n/a

Schlumberger Limited

(NYSE:SLB)

5

69.75

2.87

25.00

2/9/15

2.00

17.7

Fox Chase Bancorp Inc.

(NASDAQ:FXCB)

5

20.29

2.76

16.67

2/10/15

0.56

n/a

MarketAxess Holdings Inc.

(NASDAQ:MKTX)

7

111.59

0.72

25.00

2/10/15

0.80

23.4

Applied Industrial Tech.

(NYSE:AIT)

6

40.49

2.67

8.00

2/11/15

1.08

11.0

Allete Inc.

(NYSE:ALE)

5

50.83

3.97

3.06

2/12/15

2.02

2.8

Harley-Davidson Inc.

(NYSE:HOG)

5

45.39

2.73

12.73

2/13/15

1.24

25.4

Xylem Inc.

(NYSE:XYL)

5

36.50

1.54

10.00

2/13/15

0.56

n/a

Flir Systems Inc.

(NASDAQ:FLIR)

5

28.07

1.57

10.00

2/18/15

0.44

n/a

HCI Group Inc.

(NYSE:HCI)

6

34.85

3.44

9.09

2/18/15

1.20

64.4

L Brands Inc.

(NYSE:LB)

5

95.82

2.09

47.06

2/18/15

2.00

27.2

Primerica Inc.

(NYSE:PRI)

6

47.23

1.36

33.33

2/18/15

0.64

100.0

United Parcel Service Inc.

(NYSE:UPS)

6

96.23

3.03

8.96

2/19/15

2.92

9.2

Dun & Bradstreet Corp.

(NYSE:DNB)

9

103.93

1.78

5.11

2/20/15

1.85

5.7

Brookfield Infrastructure LP

(NYSE:BIP)

8

37.91

5.59

10.42

2/25/15

2.12

14.0

Corning Inc.

(NYSE:GLW)

5

18.28

2.63

20.00

2/25/15

0.48

19.1

GATX Corp.

(GMT)

5

42.55

3.57

15.15

2/25/15

1.52

6.3

MidWest One Financial Gp

(NASDAQ:MOFG)

5

30.41

1.97

3.45

2/25/15

0.60

24.6

Newell Rubbermaid Inc.

(NYSE:NWL)

5

44.08

1.72

11.76

2/25/15

0.76

30.6

Nordstrom Inc.

(NYSE:JWN)

6

49.81

2.97

12.12

2/25/15

1.48

14.3

Time Warner Inc.

(NYSE:TWX)

6

64.67

2.16

10.24

2/25/15

1.40

11.4

Union Pacific

(NYSE:UNP)

9

78.20

2.81

10.00

2/25/15

2.20

29.7

Allstate Corp.

(NYSE:ALL)

5

62.09

1.93

7.14

2/26/15

1.20

8.1

Emclaire Financial Corp.

(NASDAQ:EMCF)

5

24.00

4.00

9.09

2/26/15

0.96

11.4

Scripps Networks Interactive

(NYSE:SNI)

5

55.21

1.67

15.00

2/26/15

0.92

25.1

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

(NYSE:AJG)

5

40.94

3.62

2.78

3/2/15

1.48

2.9

Equifax Inc.

(NYSE:EFX)

6

111.37

1.04

16.00

3/2/15

1.16

32.9

Lear Corp.

(NYSE:LEA)

5

122.83

0.81

25.00

3/2/15

1.00

n/a

Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.

(NYSE:CCE)

8

49.24

2.27

12.00

3/4/15

1.12

23.5

Eaton Corp. plc

(NYSE:ETN)

6

52.04

4.23

12.24

3/5/15

2.20

15.3

First American Financial

(NYSE:FAF)

6

35.90

2.79

4.17

3/5/15

1.00

52.8

Weingarten Realty Investors

(NYSE:WRI)

5

34.58

3.99

6.15

3/5/15

1.38

5.8

Anthem Inc.

(NYSE:ANTM)

5

139.44

1.79

42.86

3/6/15

2.50

n/a

CME Group Inc.

(NASDAQ:CME)

5

90.60

2.21

6.38

3/6/15

2.00

16.8

Kohl's Corp.

(NYSE:KSS)

5

47.63

3.78

15.38

3/9/15

1.80

n/a

Home Depot Inc.

(NYSE:HD)

6

132.25

1.78

25.53

3/10/15

2.36

19.4

Cohen & Steers Inc.

(NYSE:CNS)

6

30.48

3.28

13.64

3/11/15

1.00

20.1

Ingersoll-Rand plc

(NYSE:IR)

5

55.29

2.10

16.00

3/11/15

1.16

39.0

Magna International Inc.

(NYSE:MGA)

6

40.56

2.17

15.79

3/11/15

0.88

28.1

Packaging Corp of America

(NYSE:PKG)

5

63.05

3.49

37.50

3/11/15

2.20

27.9

QNB Corp.

(OTCPK:QNBC)

5

31.50

3.68

3.57

3/11/15

1.16

3.9

Reliance Steel & Aluminum

(NYSE:RS)

5

57.91

2.76

14.29

3/11/15

1.60

32.0

WesBanco Inc.

(NASDAQ:WSBC)

5

30.02

3.06

4.55

3/11/15

0.92

10.2

Wyndham Worldwide Corp.

(NYSE:WYN)

6

72.65

2.31

20.00

3/11/15

1.68

28.5

Chico's FAS Inc.

(NYSE:CHS)

6

10.67

2.91

3.33

3/12/15

0.31

14.0

Dr Pepper Snapple Group

(NYSE:DPS)

6

93.20

2.06

17.07

3/12/15

1.92

18.3

FBL Financial Group Inc.

(NYSE:FFG)

5

63.64

2.51

14.29

3/12/15

1.60

45.0

Horace Mann Educators

(NYSE:HMN)

6

33.18

3.01

8.70

3/12/15

1.00

23.4

Mead Johnson Nutrition Co.

(NYSE:MJN)

7

78.95

2.09

10.00

3/12/15

1.65

13.0

Miller Industries Inc.

(NYSE:MLR)

6

21.78

2.94

6.67

3/12/15

0.64

45.0

Myers Industries Inc.

(NYSE:MYE)

6

13.32

4.05

3.85

3/12/15

0.54

15.7

Retail Opportunity Invest.

(NASDAQ:ROIC)

6

17.90

3.80

6.25

3/12/15

0.68

30.5

Endurance Specialty Hdngs

(NYSE:ENH)

5

63.99

2.19

2.94

3/13/15

1.40

7.0

Hill-Rom Holdings Inc.

(NYSE:HRC)

5

48.06

1.33

4.92

3/13/15

0.64

9.3

Texas Roadhouse Inc.

(NASDAQ:TXRH)

5

35.77

1.90

13.33

3/16/15

0.68

n/a

Ceco Environmental Corp.

(NASDAQ:CECE)

5

7.68

3.44

10.00

3/17/15

0.26

n/a

Douglas Dynamics Inc.

(NYSE:PLOW)

6

21.07

4.22

2.30

3/18/15

0.89

18.4

DSW Inc.

(NYSE:DSW)

5

23.86

3.35

6.67

3/18/15

0.80

n/a

LeMaitre Vascular Inc.

(NASDAQ:LMAT)

5

17.25

0.93

14.29

3/18/15

0.16

n/a

SpartanNash Company

(NASDAQ:SPTN)

5

21.64

2.50

12.50

3/18/15

0.54

22.0

US Physical Therapy Inc.

(NASDAQ:USPH)

5

53.68

1.12

25.00

3/18/15

0.60

n/a

Pioneer Bankshares Inc.

(OTCPK:PNBI)

6

24.00

3.00

5.88

3/19/15

0.72

4.4

Flowserve Corp.

(NYSE:FLS)

9

42.08

1.71

12.50

3/25/15

0.72

13.0

Ralph Lauren Corp.

(NYSE:RL)

6

111.48

1.79

11.11

3/25/15

2.00

37.3

Activision Blizzard Inc.

(NASDAQ:ATVI)

6

38.71

0.59

15.00

3/26/15

0.23

8.9

Independent Bancorp MA

(NASDAQ:INDB)

5

46.52

2.24

8.33

3/26/15

1.04

7.2

Camden Property Trust

(NYSE:CPT)

5

76.76

3.65

6.06

3/27/15

2.80

9.1

FMC Corp.

(NYSE:FMC)

5

39.13

1.69

10.00

3/27/15

0.66

20.9

Kennedy-Wilson Holdings

(NYSE:KW)

5

24.08

1.99

33.33

3/27/15

0.48

n/a

RLJ Lodging Trust

(NYSE:RLJ)

5

21.63

6.10

10.00

3/27/15

1.32

n/a

St. Jude Medical Inc.

(NYSE:STJ)

5

61.77

1.88

7.41

3/27/15

1.16

n/a

Vail Resorts Inc.

(NYSE:MTN)

5

127.99

1.95

50.00

3/27/15

2.49

n/a

Comcast Corp.

(NASDAQ:CMCSA)

8

56.43

1.77

11.11

3/30/15

1.00

20.7

International Bancshares

(NASDAQ:IBOC)

6

25.70

2.26

7.41

3/30/15

0.58

10.0

Washington Trust Bancorp

(NASDAQ:WASH)

5

39.52

3.44

6.25

3/30/15

1.36

9.8

Cisco Systems Inc.

(NASDAQ:CSCO)

5

27.16

3.09

10.53

3/31/15

0.84

n/a

Domtar Corp.

(NYSE:UFS)

6

36.95

4.33

6.67

3/31/15

1.60

33.2

Click to enlarge

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

In addition, there's a number of Near-Challengers that are on schedule to record their fifth year of increases during this period:

Company

Ticker

No.

LY

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Ex-Div

NRG Energy Inc.

(NYSE:NRG)

4

1/29/15

Investors Bancorp

(NASDAQ:ISBC)

4

2/5/15

Booz Allen Hamilton

(NYSE:BAH)

4

2/6/15

Computer Programs & Sys.

(NASDAQ:CPSI)

4

2/10/15

Ledyard Financial Group

(OTCQB:LFGP)

4

2/11/15

South State Corp.

(NASDAQ:SSB)

4

2/11/15

Cortland Bancorp

(OTCQX:CLDB)

4

2/12/15

Assured Guaranty Ltd.

(NYSE:AGO)

4

2/13/15

Globe Specialty Metals Inc.

(NASDAQ:GSM)

4

2/23/15

United Bancshares Inc.

(NASDAQ:UBOH)

4

2/25/15

LPL Financial Holdings Inc.

(NASDAQ:LPLA)

4

2/26/15

Old National Bancorp

(NYSE:ONB)

4

2/26/15

Pennsylvania REIT

(NYSE:PEI)

4

2/26/15

Burnham Holdings Inc.

(OTCPK:BURCA)

4

2/27/15

Forrester Research Inc.

(NASDAQ:FORR)

4

3/2/15

Dunkin' Brands Group Inc.

(NASDAQ:DNKN)

4

3/5/15

Kansas City Southern

(NYSE:KSU)

4

3/5/15

Southwest Georgia Fin'l

(NYSEMKT:SGB)

4

3/5/15

Public Service Enterprise

(NYSE:PEG)

4

3/6/15

GNC Holdings Inc.

(NYSE:GNC)

4

3/11/15

Corporate Executive Board

(NYSE:CEB)

4

3/12/15

Federal Agricultural Mrtge

(NYSE:AGM)

4

3/12/15

Simmons First National

(NASDAQ:SFNC)

4

3/12/15

Fidelity National Information

(NYSE:FIS)

4

3/13/15

GameStop Corp.

(NYSE:GME)

4

3/13/15

Interval Leisure Group Inc.

(IILG)

4

3/13/15

Las Vegas Sands Corp.

(NYSE:LVS)

4

3/19/15

Dentsply International Inc.

(NASDAQ:XRAY)

4

3/25/15

Amdocs Limited

(NYSE:DOX)

4

3/27/15

Avalonbay Communities Inc.

(NYSE:AVB)

4

3/27/15

Diamondrock Hospitality Co.

(NYSE:DRH)

4

3/27/15

Willis Towers Watson plc

(NASDAQ:WLTW)

4

3/27/15

Monotype Imaging Holdings

(NASDAQ:TYPE)

4

3/30/15

Corrections Corp of Amer.

(NYSE:CXW)

4

3/31/15

Western Digital Corp.

(NYSE:WDC)

4

3/31/15

Click to enlarge

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 UNP.

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.

Editor's Note: This article covers one or more stocks trading at less than $1 per share and/or with less than a $100 million market cap. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.