Dividend Challengers (And Near-Challengers): 77 Increases Expected By The End Of December

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Includes: A, AAT, AEP, AMTD, ASB, AYR, BCPC, BKEP, BMY, BUD, CCF, CFFI, CFI, CLNY, COR, CORE, CORR, CUBE, DEI, DFT, DIS, DOW, EL, EMCI, EMN, ENLC, ENLK, ENSG, EVR, EXSR, FMBH, FUN, GEO, GFF, GXP, HASI, HEI, HI, HII, HON, HPQ, HUBB, IRM, JCI, KIM, KINS, LMNR, LOAN, LZB, MAC, MHLD, MLGF, MRK, MSI, NVDA, OLP, PNW, PRU, RJF, ROK, SASR, SBUX, SBY, SIX, SLG, SNA, STBZ, STX, SXI, TRGP, TSN, TTC, UBSH, V, WCN, WEN, WNR
by: David Fish

Summary

Evercore, Hillenbrand, HEICO, and Ensign Group set to become Contenders.

Is Bermuda-based Maiden Holdings the ideal DG stock?

Plenty of potential double-digit raisers.

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.

Dividend Growth Season in Full Swing

The Dividend Growth surge that emerged last month marked the start of the busiest period of the year, namely the fourth quarter of one year and the first quarter of the next. The number of announcements for all Champions, Contenders, Challengers, and Near-Challengers expected in the next 11 weeks has increased from exactly 100 a month ago to 144 now, the typical increase for the next six months or so. That should offer some reassurance that the "counter" trend highlighted in my recent article is not as devastating as it may have seemed. While the typical fourth-quarter Freezes tend to eliminate the "weak" CCC components, it's clear that the strong companies continue to thrive!

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.

9/30

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

DGR

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

5-yr

EnLink Midstream LLC

(NYSE:ENLC)

5

16.75

6.09

2.00

10/29/15

1.02

69.7

EnLink Midstream Partners LP

(NYSE:ENLK)

5

17.71

8.81

1.30

10/29/15

1.56

43.7

Targa Resources Corp.

(NYSE:TRGP)

5

49.11

7.41

4.00

10/29/15

3.64

n/a

Seagate Technology plc

(NASDAQ:STX)

5

38.55

6.54

16.67

11/4/15

2.52

n/a

Standex International Inc.

(NYSE:SXI)

5

92.87

0.60

16.67

11/5/15

0.56

18.9

Waste Connections Inc.

(NYSE:WCN)

6

74.70

0.78

11.54

11/5/15

0.58

48.0

American Electric Power Co.

(NYSE:AEP)

6

64.21

3.49

5.66

11/6/15

2.24

4.7

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV

(NYSE:BUD)

6

131.41

3.00

21.74

11/6/15

3.94

51.5

Sandy Spring Bancorp Inc.

(NASDAQ:SASR)

5

30.58

3.14

9.09

11/6/15

0.96

86.4

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.

(NASDAQ:AMTD)

6

35.24

1.93

13.33

11/6/15

0.68

65.5

Macerich Company

(NYSE:MAC)

6

80.87

3.36

4.62

11/9/15

2.72

11.0

Starbucks Corp.

(NASDAQ:SBUX)

6

54.14

1.48

25.00

11/9/15

0.80

30.5

First Mid-Illinois Bancshares

(NASDAQ:FMBH)

5

27.26

2.20

3.45

11/10/15

0.60

9.2

Union Bankshares Corp.

(NASDAQ:UBSH)

5

26.77

2.84

11.76

11/10/15

0.76

22.2

Visa Inc.

(NYSE:V)

8

82.70

0.68

16.67

11/11/15

0.56

30.7

EMC Insurance Group Inc.

(NASDAQ:EMCI)

6

26.93

2.82

11.76

11/13/15

0.76

7.3

Honeywell International Inc.

(NYSE:HON)

5

116.59

2.04

14.98

11/17/15

2.38

12.2

Core-Mark Holding Company

(NASDAQ:CORE)

5

35.80

0.89

23.08

11/18/15

0.32

n/a

Rockwell Automation Inc.

(NYSE:ROK)

6

122.34

2.37

11.54

11/19/15

2.90

15.9

Prudential Financial Inc.

(NYSE:PRU)

7

81.65

3.43

20.69

11/20/15

2.80

16.2

Snap-on Inc.

(NYSE:SNA)

6

151.96

1.61

15.09

11/20/15

2.44

12.5

Evercore Partners Inc.

(NYSE:EVR)

9

51.51

2.41

10.71

11/24/15

1.24

12.8

Aircastle Limited

(NYSE:AYR)

5

19.86

4.83

9.09

11/25/15

0.96

17.6

Estee Lauder Companies Inc.

(NYSE:EL)

6

88.56

1.36

25.00

11/25/15

1.20

22.2

Great Plains Energy Inc.

(NYSE:GXP)

5

27.29

3.85

7.14

11/25/15

1.05

3.7

Hubbell Inc.

(NYSE:HUBB)

8

107.74

2.34

12.50

11/25/15

2.52

9.2

Kingstone Companies Inc.

(NASDAQ:KINS)

5

9.23

2.71

25.00

11/25/15

0.25

n/a

Iron Mountain Inc.

(NYSE:IRM)

6

37.53

5.17

2.11

11/27/15

1.94

59.1

Wendy's Company

(NYSE:WEN)

6

10.80

2.22

9.09

11/27/15

0.24

28.2

Six Flags Entertainment Corp.

(NYSE:SIX)

6

53.61

4.33

11.54

11/30/15

2.32

169.7

Cedar Fair LP

(NYSE:FUN)

5

57.29

5.76

10.00

12/1/15

3.30

65.2

Griffon Corp.

(NYSE:GFF)

5

17.01

1.18

25.00

12/1/15

0.20

n/a

American Assets Trust Inc.

(NYSE:AAT)

5

43.38

2.31

7.53

12/7/15

1.00

n/a

HP Inc.

(NYSE:HPQ)

6

15.53

3.19

49.43

12/7/15

0.50

17.1

Johnson Controls Int'l plc

(NYSE:JCI)

6

46.53

2.49

11.54

12/9/15

1.16

14.9

Eastman Chemical Co.

(NYSE:EMN)

6

67.68

2.72

15.00

12/10/15

1.84

12.7

Walt Disney Company

(NYSE:DIS)

6

92.86

1.53

7.58

12/10/15

1.42

31.0

C&F Financial Corp.

(NASDAQ:CFFI)

5

43.08

2.97

6.67

12/11/15

1.28

3.7

Merck & Company

(NYSE:MRK)

5

62.41

2.95

2.22

12/11/15

1.84

3.4

Motorola Solutions Inc.

(NYSE:MSI)

6

76.28

2.15

20.59

12/11/15

1.64

n/a

Hillenbrand Inc.

(NYSE:HI)

9

31.64

2.56

1.25

12/15/15

0.81

1.3

Malaga Financial Corp.

(OTCPK:MLGF)

7

23.25

3.87

12.50

12/16/15

0.90

17.3

Toro Company

(NYSE:TTC)

7

46.84

1.28

20.00

12/18/15

0.60

22.7

One Liberty Properties Inc.

(NYSE:OLP)

6

24.16

6.79

5.13

12/21/15

1.64

6.9

Balchem Inc.

(NASDAQ:BCPC)

7

77.53

0.44

13.33

12/23/15

0.34

22.2

Limoneira Company

(NASDAQ:LMNR)

8

18.90

1.06

11.11

12/23/15

0.20

23.6

Douglas Emmett Inc.

(NYSE:DEI)

6

36.63

2.40

4.76

12/28/15

0.88

16.0

DuPont Fabros Technology

(NYSE:DFT)

7

41.25

4.56

11.90

12/28/15

1.88

33.2

Colony Capital Inc.

(NYSE:CLNY)

7

18.23

8.78

5.26

12/29/15

1.60

16.6

CoreSite Realty Corp.

(NYSE:COR)

6

74.04

2.86

26.19

12/29/15

2.12

n/a

Dow Chemical Company

(NYSE:DOW)

6

51.83

3.55

9.52

12/29/15

1.84

22.9

Ensign Group Inc.

(NASDAQ:ENSG)

9

20.13

0.79

6.67

12/29/15

0.16

21.5

Maiden Holdings Ltd.

(NASDAQ:MHLD)

8

12.69

4.41

7.69

12/29/15

0.56

14.9

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

(NYSE:BMY)

7

53.92

2.82

2.70

12/30/15

1.52

2.9

CubeSmart

(NYSE:CUBE)

6

27.26

3.08

31.25

12/30/15

0.84

45.0

Culp Inc.

(NYSE:CFI)

5

29.77

0.94

16.67

12/30/15

0.28

n/a

HEICO Corp.

(NYSE:HEI)

9

69.20

0.23

14.29

12/30/15

0.16

20.4

Kimco Realty Corp.

(NYSE:KIM)

6

28.95

3.52

6.25

12/30/15

1.02

8.4

SL Green Realty Corp.

(NYSE:SLG)

5

108.10

2.66

20.00

12/30/15

2.88

43.1

Agilent Technologies Inc.

(NYSE:A)

5

47.09

0.98

15.00

12/31/15

0.46

n/a

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

Western Refining Inc.

(NYSE:WNR)

4

10/23/15

Pinnacle West Capital Corp.

(NYSE:PNW)

4

10/29/15

Blueknight Energy Partners LP

(NASDAQ:BKEP)

4

10/30/15

Chase Corp.

(NYSEMKT:CCF)

4

11/5/15

CorEnergy Infrastructure Trust

(NYSE:CORR)

4

11/10/15

GEO Group Inc.

(NYSE:GEO)

4

11/12/15

NVIDIA Corp.

(NASDAQ:NVDA)

4

11/18/15

Exchange Bank (Santa Rosa)

(OTCPK:EXSR)

4

11/24/15

Huntington Ingalls Industries

(NYSE:HII)

4

11/24/15

La-Z-Boy Inc.

(NYSE:LZB)

4

11/25/15

Associated Banc-Corp

(NYSE:ASB)

4

11/27/15

Tyson Foods Inc.

(NYSE:TSN)

4

11/27/15

State Bank Financial Corp.

(NASDAQ:STBZ)

4

12/10/15

Silver Bay Realty Trust Corp.

(NYSE:SBY)

4

12/23/15

Hannon Armstrong Infrstruct.

(NYSE:HASI)

4

12/28/15

Manhattan Bridge Capital Inc.

(NASDAQ:LOAN)

4

12/29/15

Raymond James Financial Inc.

(NYSE:RJF)

4

12/30/15

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 V,JCI.

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.