Dividend Contenders: 23 Increases Expected By The End Of January

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Includes: ACU, ANDE, AXS, BKUTK, BOBE, CHRW, CVS, ECL, EIX, FAST, GGG, JJSF, LNT, MDNB, NEU, RGCO, ROP, SJI, SYK, THG, UBA, VGR, YORW
by: David Fish

Summary

Ecolab is set to become the newest Champion.

Stryker and Roper move within a year of Champion status.

Has CVS fallen to an attractive level?

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. 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 Surge to be Interrupted by January Lull

The Dividend Growth surge that started in September will carry through the first quarter of 2017, but not before a brief lull in January, when fewer companies typically raise their dividends. The number of announcements for all Champions, Contenders, Challengers, and Near-Challengers expected in the next 11 weeks has dropped to 70 from exactly 100 a month ago. While the focus has also been on the typical fourth-quarter freezes (that have mostly taken place), the strong companies continue to lengthen their already impressive streaks of annual increases.

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 Contenders (10-24 years):

Company

Ticker

No.

10/31

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

DGR

Name

Symbol

Yrs.

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

5-yr.

Bob Evans Farms

BOBE

10

41.22

3.30

9.68

11/25/15

1.36

10.8

South Jersey Industries

SJI

17

29.65

3.56

4.98

12/8/15

1.06

8.2

C.H. Robinson Worldwide

CHRW

18

68.12

2.52

13.16

12/10/15

1.72

8.6

Ecolab Inc.

ECL

24

114.17

1.23

6.06

12/11/15

1.40

16.3

NewMarket Corp.

NEU

11

400.91

1.60

14.29

12/11/15

6.40

30.1

Vector Group Ltd.

VGR

18

20.94

7.64

5.00

12/11/15

1.60

5.0

Hanover Insurance Group

THG

11

76.19

2.42

12.20

12/16/15

1.84

11.1

J&J Snack Foods Corp.

JJSF

12

122.15

1.28

8.33

12/18/15

1.56

27.3

Axis Capital Holdings Ltd.

AXS

14

56.97

2.46

20.69

12/29/15

1.40

6.7

Bank of Utica

OTCPK:BKUTK

16

408.00

3.14

4.92

12/29/15

12.80

9.1

Edison International

EIX

13

73.48

2.61

14.97

12/29/15

1.92

5.8

Stryker Corp.

SYK

23

115.35

1.32

10.14

12/29/15

1.52

18.1

York Water Company

YORW

19

31.60

1.97

4.01

12/29/15

0.62

3.2

Andersons Inc. (The)

ANDE

14

38.05

1.63

10.71

12/30/15

0.62

18.6

Urstadt Biddle Properties

UBA

22

21.50

4.84

1.96

12/31/15

1.04

1.0

Acme United Corp.

ACU

13

21.86

1.83

11.11

1/5/16

0.40

11.4

Roper Technologies Inc.

ROP

23

173.31

0.69

20.00

1/6/16

1.20

21.4

RGC Resources Inc.

RGCO

13

24.60

3.29

5.19

1/13/16

0.81

3.1

Graco Inc.

GGG

19

74.90

1.76

10.00

1/15/16

1.32

8.4

CVS Health Corp.

CVS

13

84.10

2.02

21.43

1/20/16

1.70

32.0

Minden Bancorp Inc.

OTCPK:MDNB

14

23.50

2.38

27.27

1/20/16

0.56

11.7

Alliant Energy Corp.

LNT

13

38.05

3.09

6.82

1/27/16

1.18

6.8

Fastenal Company

FAST

17

38.98

3.08

7.14

1/27/16

1.20

21.7

Click to enlarge

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

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 CVS.

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.