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In compiling the Dividend Champions list (found here: http://dripinvesting.org/Tools/Tools.asp), 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.

Better Than Before

Over the past several months, I modified the schedule to aim for a three- to four-week frequency. Previous monthly articles had allowed some increases to "slip through the cracks" and publishing the listings twice each month seemed a tad too frequent, with too many companies carried over and not enough being "checked off." But the best solution has turned out to be a return to a monthly schedule, but extending the "forward look" to about 11 weeks, rather than the original six (later up to 10) weeks. So it's back to a monthly article, which will be timed to appear about 11 weeks from the end of a future month, in this case, May.

I 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 Name

Stock

No.

2/29

Div

Qtly

LY%

LY

Company

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Rate

Inc.

Ex-Div

Raven Industries

(RAVN)

25

63.05

1.14

0.1800

12.50

3/29/11

H.B. Fuller Company

(FUL)

42

30.13

1.00

0.0750

7.14

4/26/11

Procter & Gamble Co.

(PG)

55

67.62

3.11

0.5250

8.97

4/27/11

W.W. Grainger Inc.

(GWW)

40

207.73

1.27

0.6600

22.22

5/5/11

PPG Industries Inc.

(PPG)

40

91.25

2.50

0.5700

3.64

5/6/11

American States Water

(AWR)

57

36.86

3.04

0.2800

7.69

5/10/11

Sonoco Products Co.

(SON)

28

32.84

3.53

0.2900

3.57

5/10/11

ExxonMobil Corp.

(XOM)

29

86.50

2.17

0.4700

6.82

5/11/11

Gorman-Rupp Co.

(GRC)

39

28.87

1.25

0.0900

7.14

5/11/11

Mine Safety Appliances

(MSA)

40

36.86

2.82

0.2600

4.00

5/19/11

RLI Corp.

(RLI)

36

70.06

1.71

0.3000

3.45

5/26/11

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ)

49

65.08

3.50

0.5700

5.56

5/27/11

NACCO Industries

(NC)

26

97.80

2.18

0.5325

1.91

5/27/11

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. I'm attaching the chart below.

Source: Dividend Champions: 13 Increases Expected By The End Of May