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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.

Quiet Time Again

Since many companies announced dividend increases in conjunction with their annual shareholder meetings in April or May, we typically see a drop-off in the pace of such announcements as summer approaches. Although there are still some corporations that will raise their dividend between now and the end of July (which coincides with the "forward look" of about 11 weeks for this article), we'll probably be seeing fewer in the months ahead.

I have 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

Stock

No.

4/30

Div

LY%

LY

Ann.

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

National Fuel Gas

(NYSE:NFG)

41

47.32

3.00

2.90

6/28/11

1.42

Medtronic Inc.

(NYSE:MDT)

34

38.20

2.54

7.78

7/6/11

0.97

Lowe's Companies

(NYSE:LOW)

49

31.47

1.78

27.27

7/18/11

0.56

C.R. Bard Inc.

(NYSE:BCR)

40

98.96

0.77

5.56

7/21/11

0.76

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: 4 Increases Expected By July 31