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

New Opportunities

As mentioned in recent installments in this series, I've modified the schedule to aim for a three- to four-week frequency. Monthly articles allowed some increases to "slip through the cracks," and publishing the listings twice each month seems a tad too frequent, with too many companies carried over and not enough being "checked off," so I hope the current scheduling works better.

I have also 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.

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

Stock

No.

1/31

Div

Qtly

LY%

LY

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Kimberly-Clark Corp.

(NYSE:KMB)

39

71.56

3.91

0.7000

6.06

3/2/11

Old Republic Int'l

(NYSE:ORI)

30

9.88

7.09

0.1750

1.45

3/2/11

Tootsie Roll Industries

(NYSE:TR)

46

24.24

1.32

0.0800

3.00

3/4/11

Genuine Parts Co.

(NYSE:GPC)

55

63.78

2.82

0.4500

9.76

3/9/11

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

(NYSE:WMT)

37

61.36

2.38

0.3650

20.66

3/9/11

Telephone & Data Sys.

(NYSE:TDS)

37

26.30

1.79

0.1175

4.44

3/15/11

Chubb Corp.

(NYSE:CB)

46

67.41

2.31

0.3900

5.41

3/16/11

Piedmont Natural Gas

(NYSE:PNY)

33

32.92

3.52

0.2900

3.57

3/23/11

Raven Industries

(NASDAQ:RAVN)

25

64.89

1.11

0.1800

12.50

3/29/11

Air Products & Chem.

(NYSE:APD)

29

88.03

2.64

0.5800

18.37

3/30/11

WGL Holdings Inc.

(NYSE:WGL)

35

42.65

3.63

0.3875

2.65

4/6/11

Colgate-Palmolive Co.

(NYSE:CL)

48

90.72

2.56

0.5800

9.43

4/22/11

H.B. Fuller Company

(NYSE:FUL)

42

28.62

1.05

0.0750

7.14

4/26/11

Procter & Gamble Co.

(NYSE:PG)

55

63.04

3.33

0.5250

8.97

4/27/11

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. This time, it was a toss-up between Wal-Mart and Chubb, but since I have used the former recently, I'm attaching the chart for the latter below.

Source: Dividend Champions: 14 Increases Expected By April 30