Dividend Challengers (And Near-Challengers): 37 Increases Expected By The End Of July

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Includes: AGU, AIMC, ASH, AXP, BMTC, COBZ, CVLY, EDR, EE, ESCA, EXR, FEIC, GNTX, GRMN, HOPE, JPM, KEY, LHO, LTXB, LUV, MBFI, MEOH, MMC, NSP, PAYX, PRIM, SCVL, STT, TOWN, TRN, TYBT, UNH, UNM, USB, VCBP, VIAB, WMPN
by: David Fish

Summary

Several Double-Digit Raises Expected Soon.

Paychex could top off slow (but rewarding) quarter.

Will Southwest Airlines shareholders LUV its Challenger status?

In compiling the Dividend Champions list (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.

Lazy Days of Summer

Now that the tidal wave of Shareholder Meetings has subsided, I expect to see a lull in dividend increase announcements heading into Summer. The number of announcements for all Champions, Contenders, Challengers, and Near-Challengers expected in the next 11 weeks has decreased from 126 a month ago to just 63 now, putting it in the "below average" category. Aside from a couple of brief surges, I would expect the overall activity to remain relatively light until late in the third quarter and heading into the usual heavier activity in this year's fourth quarter and the first quarter of 2017.

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.

4/29

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

DGR

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

5-yr

Ashland Inc.

(NYSE:ASH)

6

111.60

1.40

14.71

5/27/15

1.56

23.5

KeyCorp

(NYSE:KEY)

5

12.29

2.44

15.38

5/29/15

0.30

48.6

Escalade Inc.

(NASDAQ:ESCA)

6

11.93

3.69

10.00

6/10/15

0.44

33.9

UnitedHealth Group Inc.

(NYSE:UNH)

6

131.68

1.52

33.33

6/11/15

2.00

35.9

Insperity Inc.

(NYSE:NSP)

5

52.77

1.67

15.79

6/11/15

0.88

10.3

Extra Space Storage Inc.

(NYSE:EXR)

6

84.95

2.78

25.53

6/11/15

2.36

41.1

Viacom Inc. B

(NASDAQ:VIAB)

6

40.90

3.91

21.21

6/11/15

1.60

38.5

El Paso Electric Co.

(NYSE:EE)

5

45.10

2.62

5.36

6/12/15

1.18

n/a

Garmin Ltd.

(NASDAQ:GRMN)

6

42.63

4.79

6.25

6/12/15

2.04

6.0

Methanex Corp.

(NASDAQ:MEOH)

5

34.96

3.15

10.00

6/12/15

1.10

11.6

LaSalle Hotel Properties

(NYSE:LHO)

6

23.90

7.53

20.00

6/26/15

1.80

63.8

Primoris Services Corp.

(NASDAQ:PRIM)

5

23.39

0.94

37.50

6/26/15

0.22

13.7

U.S. Bancorp

(NYSE:USB)

5

42.69

2.39

4.08

6/27/15

1.02

38.0

State Street Corp.

(NYSE:STT)

5

62.30

2.18

13.33

6/29/15

1.36

100.0

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

(NYSE:JPM)

5

63.20

2.78

10.00

7/2/15

1.76

53.1

Gentex Corp.

(NASDAQ:GNTX)

5

16.04

2.12

6.25

7/3/15

0.34

8.4

Marsh & McLennan Co's

(NYSE:MMC)

6

63.15

1.96

10.71

7/8/15

1.24

7.8

Trinity Industries Inc.

(NYSE:TRN)

5

19.51

2.26

10.00

7/13/15

0.44

21.3

Codorus Valley Bancorp

(NASDAQ:CVLY)

5

20.94

2.37

4.00

7/24/15

0.50

18.8

Education Realty Trust

(NYSE:EDR)

5

39.77

3.72

2.78

7/29/15

1.48

19.5

Unum Group

(NYSE:UNM)

7

34.21

2.16

12.12

7/29/15

0.74

14.9

Trinity Bank NA

(OTCPK:TYBT)

5

50.00

1.76

4.76

7/30/15

0.88

n/a

William Penn Bancorp Inc.

(OTCPK:WMPN)

5

22.00

1.23

3.85

7/30/15

0.27

n/a

LegacyTexas Financial Gp

(NASDAQ:LTXB)

5

24.66

2.27

7.69

7/30/15

0.56

29.0

Paychex Inc.

(NASDAQ:PAYX)

5

52.12

3.22

10.53

7/30/15

1.68

5.2

Bryn Mawr Bank Corp.

(NASDAQ:BMTC)

5

28.42

2.81

5.26

7/31/15

0.80

6.9

Click to enlarge

MR=Most Recent; LY=Last Year; DGR=Dividend Growth Rate through 2015

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

Southwest Airlines Co.

(NYSE:LUV)

4

6/1/15

Valley Commerce Bancorp

(OTCPK:VCBP)

4

6/3/15

MB Financial Inc.

(NASDAQ:MBFI)

4

6/11/15

Altra Industrial Motion Corp.

(NASDAQ:AIMC)

4

6/16/15

Agrium Inc.

(NYSE:AGU)

4

6/26/15

Towne Bank

(NASDAQ:TOWN)

4

6/26/15

American Express Company

(NYSE:AXP)

4

6/30/15

Shoe Carnival Inc.

(NASDAQ:SCVL)

4

7/1/15

FEI Company

(NASDAQ:FEIC)

4

7/14/15

CoBiz Financial Inc.

(NASDAQ:COBZ)

4

7/23/15

BBCN Bancorp Inc.

(BBCN)

4

7/29/15

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/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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.

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