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In my weekly column on dividend increases, I typically focus on companies which have boosted distributions for over five years in a row. I use this list as a starting point in identifying hidden dividend gems, and also familiarizing myself with future great dividend growth stocks. I try to understand how each company listed below makes money, whether it will be able to increase earnings over time. I also try to determine at what price it would make sense for me to initiate a position in a stock.

Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) operates general merchandise stores in the United States. The company raised its quarterly dividends by 20% to 36 cents/share. This dividend aristocrat has regularly boosted distributions for 45 years in a row. Yield: 2.50% (analysis)

United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) provides technology products and services to the building systems and aerospace industries worldwide. The company raised its quarterly dividends by 11.50% to 53.50 cents/share. This dividend achiever has regularly boosted distributions for 18 years in a row. Yield: 2.90% (analysis)

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide. The company raised its quarterly dividends by 13% to 52 cents/share. This dividend achiever has regularly boosted distributions for 19 years in a row. Yield: 2.40%

C. R. Bard, Inc. (NYSE:BCR) and its subsidiaries design, manufacture, package, distribute, and sell medical, surgical, diagnostic, and patient care devices worldwide. The company raised its quarterly dividends by 5.30% to 20 cents/share. This dividend aristocrat has regularly boosted distributions for 41 years in a row. Yield: 0.80%

Casey's General Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:CASY), together with its subsidiaries, operates convenience stores under the Casey's General Store, HandiMart, and Just Diesel names in 11 Midwestern states, primarily Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois. The company raised its quarterly dividends by 10% to 16.50 cents/share. This dividend achiever has regularly boosted distributions for 13 years in a row. Yield: 1.30%

I have recently initiated a small initial position in Casey's General Stores. I will post a more detailed analysis of the stock in a few weeks, but generally I find the growth plans to be reasonable. I also see plenty of room for growth in the U.S. If the stock falls down further from here, I would consider adding to my small position in it.

Disclosure: Long UTX and CASY

Source: 5 Consistent Dividend Payers Boosting Distributions