Dividend Streaks In Danger: Freezin' Season Under Way

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Includes: ABR, AIN, AME, ANCX, APH, APU, ASH, AVX, AWH, AWR, BBSI, BLX, BP, BT, BUD, CAT, CECE, CHSP, CLB, CLMS, CLNY, CMOH, CNI, CR, CSX, CVX, CXW, DDS, DPM, DRH, DSW, DUK, DV, EEP, EFSI, ENB, ENLK, ESCA, EWBC, FKYS, FMC, FRFC, GAIN, GEL, GK, GMLP, GPS, GRMN, HAR, HBNC, HCI, HCP, HDB, HFC, HSNI, HUM, IMASF, IPHS, JCI, JWN, KLAC, KMI, KMT, KSU, LHO, LLTC, LXK, MCK, MEOH, MJN, MKSI, MLAB, MMLP, MON, MRLN, MYE, NSC, NWFL, NWL, OCBI, OII, OKS, ORCL, OTCM, PACW, PCAR, PCBK, PCTI, PDER, PH, PIR, POPE, PRIM, RL, RLJ, SAFT, SE, SHLM, SHPG, SIR, SLB, SNN, SOHO, SPAN, SSI, SSW, STJ, STON, SUN, SXL, SXT, TECH, TG, TGP, TNC, TOO, TRGP, UMPQ, UNP, VAL, VGR, VTR, WDC, WDR, WPPGY, WPZ, WR, WRK, WY, YUM
by: David Fish

Summary

37 More Freezes Possible by year-end (after 18 in September).

2017 May produce over 50 Freezes.

Other Dangers Subsiding.

In compiling the Dividend Champions list (here) I get to see which companies are nearing the anniversaries of their previous dividend increases. Most of these firms raise their payout about the same time every year, but some companies go longer before boosting their dividends, and this can raise concerns about their streaks of increases. Other streaks end because of unsustainable yields (or payout ratios) or because the companies are acquired by other firms. Note that all references to "CCC" below refer to the collection of Dividend Champions (25 or more years of higher dividends), Contenders (10-24 years), and Challengers (5-9 years).

Dividend Streaks in Danger: Overview

In previous years, I published quarterly articles mainly focused on "overdue" dividend increases, defined as being a year or more since the previous increase. That generally means declaring the same per-share amount for a fifth straight quarter. Once the overdue situation reached the point of a company paying the same total dividends in back-to-back years, it was considered a "freeze," requiring deletion from the CCC listing. This year has been a little different, however, starting with my article in January that focused on the turmoil in the oil patch and very real possibility that it would lead to numerous cuts in distributions. More on that later. For various reasons, there were no Second- or Third-quarter articles, and I am returning to potential Freezes as the focus of this piece.

The Big Freeze

Each year, the arrival of the fourth quarter means that it's do-or-die time for some companies' streaks of dividend increases. The main criterion for any streak is that the company in question must have paid higher dividend totals than the year before, so a Freeze (requiring deletion) occurs when it paid the same amount in total in back-to-back years. For the companies in the following table, the next dividend announcement represents its final chance to avoid deletion, since an unchanged amount means that those companies would have paid the same in 2016 as in 2015. Note that I have sorted these in "Qtly Sch" order, which indicates the approximate point in the quarter when the dividend id paid. (In this case, A=October, B=November, and C=December.) The order won't be exact, since the Record Date can easily precede the Pay Date by a month and the announcement can easily come a month before that, but it gives us a rough idea of the sequence that we can expect to learn the fate of these 37 companies.

Company

Ticker

No.

9/30

Div.

MR%

Pay

Qtly

DGR

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Date

Sch

5-yr

Orange County Bancorp Inc.

(OTCPK:OCBI)

8

46.65

3.52

2.50

4/11/14

A11

3.8

Banco Latinoamericano

(NYSE:BLX)

5

28.18

5.46

10.00

1/13/15

A15

26.8

A. Schulman Inc.

(NASDAQ:SHLM)

8

29.12

2.82

2.50

11/5/14

B05

6.3

ONEOK Partners LP

(NYSE:OKS)

10

39.95

7.91

1.94

2/13/15

B13

7.2

PCTEL Inc.

(NASDAQ:PCTI)

5

5.29

3.78

25.00

2/13/15

B13

n/a

Williams Partners LP new

(NYSE:WPZ)

6

37.19

9.14

51.65

2/13/15

B13

75.5

Eagle Financial Services

(OTCQX:EFSI)

29

23.45

3.41

5.26

11/14/14

B14

3.0

Martin Midstream Partners LP

(NASDAQ:MMLP)

5

20.04

16.22

2.52

11/14/14

B14

1.6

Core Laboratories NV

(NYSE:CLB)

8

112.33

1.96

10.00

2/20/15

B20

55.8

AVX Corp.

(NYSE:AVX)

6

13.79

3.05

10.53

11/21/14

B21

19.1

Bio-Techne Corp.

(NASDAQ:TECH)

8

109.50

1.17

3.23

11/24/14

B24

4.0

Calamos Asset Management

(NASDAQ:CLMS)

6

6.82

8.80

20.00

8/25/14

B25

14.9

PacWest Bancorp

(NASDAQ:PACW)

5

42.91

4.66

100.00

8/26/14

B26

118.7

Innophos Holdings Inc.

(NASDAQ:IPHS)

5

39.03

4.92

20.00

8/29/14

B29

23.1

Crawford & Company

(CRD-B)

5

11.35

2.47

40.00

8/29/14

B29

n/a

Barrett Business Services Inc.

(NASDAQ:BBSI)

6

49.61

1.77

22.22

12/5/14

C05

21.7

Pardee Resource Company

(OTCPK:PDER)

10

174.95

4.12

2.86

3/6/15

C06

10.4

Crane Company

(NYSE:CR)

11

63.01

2.09

10.00

9/9/14

C09

8.9

Chevron Corp.

(NYSE:CVX)

28

102.92

4.16

7.00

6/10/14

C10

8.5

Norfolk Southern

(NYSE:NSC)

14

97.06

2.43

3.51

3/10/15

C10

11.0

Lexmark International Inc.

(NYSE:LXK)

5

39.96

3.60

20.00

6/13/14

C13

n/a

Newell Brands Inc.

(NYSE:NWL)

5

52.66

1.44

11.76

3/13/15

C13

30.6

Nordstrom Inc.

(NYSE:JWN)

6

51.88

2.85

12.12

3/13/15

C13

14.3

Safety Insurance Group Inc.

(NASDAQ:SAFT)

6

67.22

4.17

16.67

9/15/14

C15

9.2

Mesa Laboratories Inc.

(NASDAQ:MLAB)

13

114.36

0.56

6.67

12/15/14

C15

7.3

Tennant Company

(NYSE:TNC)

44

64.80

1.23

11.11

6/16/14

C16

6.3

HSN Inc.

(NASDAQ:HSNI)

5

39.80

3.52

40.00

12/17/14

C17

n/a

East West Bancorp

(NASDAQ:EWBC)

5

36.71

2.18

11.11

2/17/15

C17

82.1

BP plc

(NYSE:BP)

5

35.16

6.83

2.56

12/19/14

C19

23.4

Oceaneering International Inc.

(NYSE:OII)

5

27.51

3.93

22.73

6/20/14

C20

n/a

HCI Group Inc.

(NYSE:HCI)

6

30.36

3.95

9.09

3/20/15

C20

64.4

Ametek Inc.

(NYSE:AME)

6

47.78

0.75

50.00

6/30/14

C30

24.6

Union Pacific

(NYSE:UNP)

9

97.53

2.26

10.00

3/30/15

C30

29.7

First Keystone Corp.

(OTCPK:FKYS)

15

24.50

4.41

3.85

12/31/14

C31

3.0

Ceco Environmental Corp.

(NASDAQ:CECE)

5

11.28

2.34

10.00

3/31/15

C31

n/a

DSW Inc.

(NYSE:DSW)

5

20.48

3.91

6.67

3/31/15

C31

n/a

DeVry Education Group Inc.

(NYSE:DV)

10

23.06

1.56

5.88

12/26/14

JlDe

12.5

Click to enlarge

(The last company pays semi-annually, in July and December.) The reason that there are so few "A" companies lies in the fact that there were 18 Freezes (and deletions) in September. Since October Pay Dates can be announced even before the start of September, I plan to submit next year's article in late August. Note the preponderance of 5- and 6-year streaks, which I think demonstrates that these companies find it relatively easy to let their streaks lapse, since they haven't (yet) developed a Dividend Growth "culture." That seems to be the main reason that Freezes are up this year, following record numbers of new Challengers in 2014 and 2015.

There are some companies whose streaks are predicated not on the calendar year, but on their Fiscal Year, so their fourth-quarter test comes at a different time. Such a company, with a long streak, is listed below and will see its streak end if it doesn't raise its rate by next June 30:

Company

Ticker

No.

9/30

Div.

MR%

Pay

Qtly

DGR

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Date

Sch

5-yr

Parker-Hannifin Corp.

(NYSE:PH)

59

125.53

2.01

31.25

12/5/14

C05

18.7

Click to enlarge

Note that PH's last increase came in its FY15, so even though there was no increase in FY16, it managed to pay more than in FY15, which had at least one payment at the prior (lower) rate. Although its status may seem troublesome, the company has "stretched the envelope" before and come through with timely dividend hikes, so I think it's likely to do so again. Also reassuring are the low yield and the high level of previous increases.

Of course, the companies listed above are in the second year of potential back-to-back years of paying the same total amount, which is why their Number of Years appears in Red in the monthly CCC. Because I expect each of these to be resolved one way or the other, I anticipate that the 12/30/16 spreadsheet will have no Red in the Number of Years column and all Notes to the effect of "2015=Year X" will have disappeared. Below you will see a very preliminary listing of potential 2017 freezes. Unless a company in this list declares an increase in the fourth quarter, it will become notated as "2016=Year X" and its Number of Years will be increased by one. In the January 2017 spreadsheet, such companies will then have their Number of Years appear in Red to indicate a potential freeze in the then-current year. Unfortunately, this list will be expanded to include companies that go overdue and last increased their payments on 3/31/16 and prior dates, since such companies would have paid four times at that rate, making 2016 the potential first of two straight years of equal amounts. But some companies routinely go five or six quarters between increases, so some will remove themselves from the list of potential 2017 freezes in the next 12 months.

Company

Ticker

No.

9/30

Div.

MR%

Pay

Qtly

DGR

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Date

Sch

5-yr

Mead Johnson Nutrition Co.

(NYSE:MJN)

7

79.01

2.09

10.00

4/1/15

A01

13.0

Myers Industries Inc.

(NYSE:MYE)

6

12.99

4.16

3.85

4/1/15

A01

15.7

Kansas City Southern

(NYSE:KSU)

5

93.32

1.41

17.86

4/8/15

A08

n/a

Schlumberger Limited

(NYSE:SLB)

5

78.64

2.54

25.00

4/10/15

A10

17.7

Ralph Lauren Corp.

(NYSE:RL)

6

101.14

1.98

11.11

4/10/15

A14

37.3

DiamondRock Hospitality Co.

(NYSE:DRH)

5

9.10

5.49

21.95

4/10/15

A10

-2.6

RLJ Lodging Trust

(NYSE:RLJ)

5

21.03

6.28

10.00

4/15/15

A15

n/a

Corrections Corp of America

(NYSE:CXW)

5

13.87

15.57

5.88

4/15/15

A15

n/a

FMC Corp.

(NYSE:FMC)

5

48.34

1.37

10.00

4/16/15

A16

20.9

Western Digital Corp.

(NYSE:WDC)

5

58.47

3.42

25.00

4/16/15

A16

n/a

Oracle Corp.

(NASDAQ:ORCL)

7

39.28

1.53

25.00

4/28/15

A28

23.3

Gap Inc.

(NYSE:GPS)

11

22.24

4.14

4.55

4/29/15

A29

18.8

Seaspan Corp.

(NYSE:SSW)

5

13.33

11.25

8.70

4/30/15

A30

26.7

Norwood Financial

(NASDAQ:NWFL)

17

29.08

4.26

3.33

5/1/15

B01

3.9

Gladstone Investment Corp.

(NASDAQ:GAIN)

5

8.89

8.44

4.17

5/5/15

Mo.

9.3

Pier 1 Imports Inc.

(NYSE:PIR)

5

4.24

6.60

16.67

5/6/15

B06

n/a

Golar LNG Partners LP

(NASDAQ:GMLP)

5

19.63

11.77

2.67

5/14/15

B14

n/a

Access National Corp.

(NASDAQ:ANCX)

5

23.90

2.51

7.14

5/22/15

B22

71.3

MKS Instruments Inc.

(NASDAQ:MKSI)

5

49.73

1.37

3.03

6/12/15

C12

n/a

Ashland Inc.

(NYSE:ASH)

6

115.95

1.35

14.71

6/15/15

C15

23.5

CSX Corp.

(NYSE:CSX)

11

30.50

2.36

12.50

6/15/15

C15

16.5

Escalade Inc.

(NASDAQ:ESCA)

6

12.76

3.45

10.00

6/19/15

C19

33.9

HollyFrontier Corp.

(NYSE:HFC)

5

24.50

5.39

3.13

6/26/15

C26

34.3

Garmin Ltd.

(NASDAQ:GRMN)

6

48.11

4.24

6.25

6/30/15

C30

6.0

Methanex Corp.

(NASDAQ:MEOH)

5

35.68

3.08

10.00

6/30/15

C30

11.6

Tredegar Corp.

(NYSE:TG)

5

18.59

2.37

22.22

7/1/15

A01

20.1

Allied World Assurance Co.

(NYSE:AWH)

10

40.42

2.57

15.56

7/2/15

A02

30.4

Albany International Corp.

(NYSE:AIN)

5

42.38

1.60

6.25

7/8/15

A08

6.6

LaSalle Hotel Properties

(NYSE:LHO)

6

23.87

7.54

20.00

7/15/15

A15

63.8

Primoris Services Corp.

(NASDAQ:PRIM)

5

20.60

1.07

37.50

7/15/15

A15

13.7

Humana Inc.

(NYSE:HUM)

5

176.89

0.66

3.57

7/31/15

A31

n/a

Enbridge Energy Partners LP

(NYSE:EEP)

9

25.43

9.17

2.28

8/14/15

B14

2.6

Pacific Continental Corp.

(NASDAQ:PCBK)

5

16.82

2.62

10.00

8/15/15

B15

60.0

Caterpillar Inc.

(NYSE:CAT)

22

88.77

3.47

10.00

8/20/15

B20

11.3

Marlin Business Services

(NASDAQ:MRLN)

5

19.38

2.89

12.00

8/24/15

B24

n/a

WestRock Company

(NYSE:WRK)

7

48.48

3.09

17.00

8/25/15

B25

33.7

Kennametal Inc.

(NYSE:KMT)

5

29.02

2.76

11.11

8/26/15

B26

9.6

Harman International Indus.

(NYSE:HAR)

5

84.45

1.66

6.06

8/28/15

B28

n/a

Sensient Technologies Corp.

(NYSE:SXT)

10

75.80

1.42

8.00

9/1/15

C01

5.7

American States Water

(NYSE:AWR)

61

40.05

2.24

5.16

9/1/15

C01

10.9

Span-America Medical Sys.

(NASDAQ:SPAN)

17

18.39

3.48

6.67

9/3/15

C03

9.2

Pope Resources LP

(NASDAQ:POPE)

5

66.00

4.24

7.69

9/3/15

C03

31.0

Paccar Inc.

(NASDAQ:PCAR)

5

58.78

1.63

9.09

9/4/15

C04

18.7

Stage Stores Inc.

(NYSE:SSI)

6

5.61

10.70

7.14

9/16/15

C16

18.3

First Robinson Financial Corp.

(OTCPK:FRFC)

15

38.00

3.05

11.54

9/16/15

C16

5.3

OTC Markets Group Inc.

(OTCQX:OTCM)

6

18.30

3.06

40.00

9/22/15

C22

64.4

Weyerhaeuser Company

(NYSE:WY)

5

31.94

3.88

6.90

9/25/15

C25

62.7

Commercial Bancshares Inc.

(OTCQX:CMOH)

5

51.01

1.96

31.58

9/30/15

C30

15.9

Ventas Inc.

(NYSE:VTR)

6

70.63

4.13

6.15

9/30/15

C30

8.8

McKesson Corp.

(NYSE:MCK)

8

166.75

0.67

16.67

10/1/15

A01

9.5

Amphenol Corp.

(NYSE:APH)

5

64.92

0.86

12.00

10/2/15

A02

76.6

Chesapeake Lodging Trust

(NYSE:CHSP)

6

22.90

6.99

14.29

10/15/15

A15

47.6

Umpqua Holdings Corp.

(NASDAQ:UMPQ)

5

15.05

4.25

6.67

10/15/15

A15

25.0

Horizon Bancorp

(NASDAQ:HBNC)

5

29.38

2.04

7.14

10/16/15

A16

13.5

Monsanto Company

(NYSE:MON)

15

102.20

2.11

10.20

10/30/15

A30

13.3

Dillard's Inc.

(NYSE:DDS)

5

63.01

0.44

16.67

11/2/15

B02

9.3

Click to enlarge

Again, note the prevalence of 5- and 6-years streaks, which highlights the lack of a solid Dividend Growth "culture" and possible willingness to freeze dividend rates if profits stagnate or market conditions prove worrisome to management. I hope to submit an article with the complete listing of potential 2017 freezes next April. Note that companies whose last increase was on 4/1/16 and later will have paid at least one lower quarterly amount in 2016, so they won't be freeze "candidates" until 2018.

Stratospheric Yields

As mentioned earlier, my January article led off by highlighting CCC companies with Very High Yields, especially those above 10%. You nay recall that the plunge in oil prices had prompted the Dec. 8, 2015 announcement by Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) that it was cutting its distribution by 75%, followed about a week later by 80% cuts by Teekay LNG Partners LP (NYSE:TGP) and Teekay Offshore Partners LP (NYSE:TOO). Share prices for most MLPs (Master Limited Partnerships) and other oil-related stocks plummeted, causing their yields to skyrocket. It was clear that the plunge in the price of oil would have a significant impact on profitability and the sustainability of these payouts. So I listed 20 companies will yields above 10%, some as high as 23%, and suggested that many, if not all of them would cut their distributions. Since most of them would declare a February payout, I warned that the cuts might be announced within a month. Although most of them did announce cuts, it turned out to be more of a "slow-motion train wreck" than I anticipated, but those turned out to be the vast majority of the 25 cuts by CCC firms through the end of September. I also listed 25 more companies that were yielding 7-10% and suggested that their distributions were also at risk. Fortunately, there was a price recovery, resulting in a reduction of those yields, and many of the MLPs curtailed their practice of raising the amounts each and every quarter. Flash forward to today and we have the (combined) listing below, with 8 yields above 10% and 17 between 7% and 10%.

Company

Ticker

No.

9/30

Div.

MR%

Ex-Div

Pay

DGR

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Date

Date

3-yr

Martin Midstream Partners LP

5

20.04

16.22

2.52

11/5/14

11/14/14

2.1

Corrections Corp of America

5

13.87

15.57

5.88

3/31/15

4/15/15

52.5

Golar LNG Partners LP

5

19.63

11.77

2.67

5/5/15

5/14/15

8.9

Sunoco LP

(NYSE:SUN)

5

29.01

11.38

1.00

8/3/16

8/15/16

355.0

Seaspan Corp.

5

13.33

11.25

8.70

4/16/15

4/30/15

16.2

Stage Stores Inc.

6

5.61

10.70

7.14

8/28/15

9/16/15

15.1

StoneMor Partners LP

(NASDAQ:STON)

11

25.04

10.54

1.54

11/4/15

11/13/15

3.2

Waddell & Reed Financial Inc.

(NYSE:WDR)

6

18.16

10.13

6.98

1/7/16

3/1/16

19.8

Enbridge Energy Partners LP

9

25.43

9.17

2.28

8/5/15

8/14/15

2.3

Williams Partners LP new

6

37.19

9.14

51.65

2/5/15

2/13/15

29.8

DCP Midstream Partners LP

(NYSE:DPM)

10

35.33

8.83

1.30

11/4/15

11/13/15

5.5

EnLink Midstream Partners LP

(NYSE:ENLK)

5

17.71

8.81

1.30

10/29/15

11/12/15

5.3

Calamos Asset Management

6

6.82

8.80

20.00

8/8/14

8/25/14

13.5

Colony Capital Inc.

(NYSE:CLNY)

7

18.23

8.78

5.26

12/29/15

1/15/16

2.6

Arbor Realty Trust Inc.

(NYSE:ABR)

5

7.42

8.63

6.67

8/15/16

8/31/16

26.7

Gladstone Investment Corp.

5

8.89

8.44

4.17

4/22/15

5/5/15

7.6

AmeriGas Partners LP

(NYSE:APU)

12

45.66

8.23

2.17

5/6/16

5/18/16

4.8

ONEOK Partners LP

10

39.95

7.91

1.94

1/28/15

2/13/15

6.9

Select Income REIT

(NYSE:SIR)

5

26.90

7.58

2.00

7/20/16

8/18/16

29.4

LaSalle Hotel Properties

6

23.87

7.54

20.00

6/26/15

7/15/15

38.6

Vector Group Ltd.

(NYSE:VGR)

18

21.53

7.43

5.00

12/11/15

12/29/15

5.0

Targa Resources Corp.

(NYSE:TRGP)

5

49.11

7.41

4.00

10/29/15

11/16/15

30.8

Genesis Energy LP

(NYSE:GEL)

13

37.97

7.27

2.60

7/27/16

8/12/16

10.7

Sotherly Hotels Inc.

(NASDAQ:SOHO)

6

5.28

7.20

5.56

9/13/16

10/11/16

47.7

Sunoco Logistics Partners LP

(NYSE:SXL)

15

28.41

7.04

2.25

8/4/16

8/12/16

23.2

Click to enlarge

Note the wide variety of latest dividend-increase dates and the fact that several of these companies appear on the 2016 and 2017 potential Freeze listings. (Four and seven companies, respectively) But there are also several firms that have recently increased their distributions or are expected to do so before year-end. So it would seem likely that more than half of these CCC companies are "safe" for the time being, especially those at the lower end in terms of yield. This is a welcome contrast to the situation at the start of 2016. Nevertheless, it's a reminder that there is some danger in owning companies that have unusually high yields.

Acquisitions to End Other Streaks

Another group of dividend growth streaks that will almost certainly end is composed of companies that have agreed to be acquired, simply because the stocks will disappear. If anything, these might be considered "good" deletions, since shareholders typically receive a premium above the previous trading price. With the October 3 completion of the acquisition of Champion Piedmont Natural Gas by Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK), there have been 20 acquisitions of CCC companies in 2016, up from 18 in 2015. Note that I typically don't delete these companies from the CCC listings immediately because deals are sometimes canceled or modified. Many of the deals below may not be consummated until well into 2017, so there's plenty of time for them to be altered or canceled.

I'm also showing stocks that plan spin-offs. Typically, these corporate actions don't lead to delete, but in rare cases, the adjusted parent company dividends do represent reductions, so investors should be aware of that possibility, along with the chance that they might end up owning unwanted subsidiaries.

Company

Ticker

No.

9/30

Div.

MR%

Ex-Div

Latest

DGR

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Date

Note

5-yr

Ashland Inc.

6

115.95

1.35

14.71

5/27/15

Valvoline spin 4Q

23.5

G&K Services Inc.

(NASDAQ:GK)

11

95.49

1.63

5.41

9/6/16

Being Acquired

32.0

HCP Inc.

(NYSE:HCP)

31

37.95

6.06

1.77

2/4/16

HCR spin-2H16

4.0

Humana Inc.

5

176.89

0.66

3.57

6/26/15

Being Acquired

n/a

Johnson Controls Int'l plc

(NYSE:JCI)

6

46.53

2.49

11.54

12/9/15

to spin Adient

14.9

KLA-Tencor Corp.

(NASDAQ:KLAC)

7

69.71

3.10

3.85

11/15/16

BgAcqd,EstDts

20.6

Linear Technology Corp.

(NASDAQ:LLTC)

24

59.29

2.16

6.67

2/10/16

Being Acquired

5.5

Monsanto Company

15

102.20

2.11

10.20

10/7/15

Being Acquired

13.3

Spectra Energy Corp.

(NYSE:SE)

6

42.75

3.79

9.46

2/10/16

Being Acquired

8.2

St. Jude Medical Inc.

(NYSE:STJ)

6

79.76

1.55

6.90

3/29/16

Being Acquired

n/a

Valspar Corp.

(NYSE:VAL)

38

106.07

1.24

10.00

12/3/15

Bg Acqd-1Q17?

14.0

Westar Energy

(NYSE:WR)

12

56.75

2.68

5.56

3/7/16

Being Acquired

3.1

Yum! Brands Inc.

(NYSE:YUM)

13

90.81

2.25

10.87

10/17/16

To spin YUM China

13.9

Click to enlarge

Note that some of the companies may also appear in the Freeze listings above. (The other question marks simply indicate that the companies are "guesstimating" when the deals may close.)

Currency Exchange Deletions

In recent years, the US Dollar has enjoyed a run of strength against other currencies, but that can create problems for domestic investors in foreign companies, usually traded as ADRs, or American Depository Receipts. Even when such a company raises its dividend in its "home" currency, U.S. investors can receive less (in US$) than the year before...which is obviously not an increase to them. In 2015, there were 19 deletions of foreign firms for this reason, but only three in 2016. These don't appear in the "Cuts" column because the companies involved didn't actually reduce their payments (in their "home" currencies, so they fall under the "Other" column in the Deletions table at the top of the Changes tab. So the CCC listings have come to the point where the majority of foreign listings now declare their dividends in US$, which makes currency exchange a non-issue. But there are still a small group that declare dividends in a foreign currency, which is subject to translation. Those listed below have managed (so far) to offset any currency-exchange deterioration and pay American investors more each year.

Company

Ticker

No.

9/30

Div.

MR%

Ex-Div

Latest

DGR

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Date

Note

5-yr

Anheuser-Busch InBev

(NYSE:BUD)

6

131.41

3.00

21.74

11/6/15

SA,@,Belgium

51.5

BT Group plc

(NYSE:BT)

7

25.43

4.00

5.80

8/29/16

SA,@UK

12.6

Canadian National Railway

(NYSE:CNI)

19

65.40

1.51

8.91

12/8/15

@Canada

13.5

Enbridge Inc.

(NYSE:ENB)

20

44.23

3.32

15.90

11/12/15

@,Canada

12.3

HDFC Bank Limited

(NYSE:HDB)

15

71.89

0.59

12.98

6/27/16

India,Annual

18.2

Inmarsat plc

(OTCPK:IMASF)

12

9.30

5.63

5.01

9/14/16

SA,UK,@

7.6

Shire plc

(NASDAQ:SHPG)

13

193.86

0.41

14.93

9/7/16

SA,UK,@

15.2

Smith & Nephew plc

(NYSE:SNN)

11

32.78

1.91

2.96

10/5/16

SA,UK,@

15.3

WPP plc

(NASDAQ:WPPGY)

7

117.72

2.89

3.82

10/5/16

SA,@UK

20.6

Click to enlarge

Although there's no specific reason to expect currency-related problems for these companies, investors should be aware of the possibility. Note that BUD is about to close its merger with SABMiller, so that may affect its continued listing.

Conclusion

Although it may seem from the preceding that there are a large number of dividend growth streaks headed for extinction, I'd like to point out that many "overdue" streaks have been (and will be) rescued by belated dividend increases, and the other reasons for deletion (mainly currency exchange rates and acquisitions) are not necessarily indications of deteriorating businesses. On a broad scale, its important to remember that earnings growth begets dividend growth, so screening for earnings strength and sustainability remains a primary concern in choosing to buy or hold Dividend Growth stocks.

Disclosure: I am/we are long UNP,YUM.

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 discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.