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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.

The Pace Quickens

The usual summer drop-off in the pace of dividend increase announcements seems to have passed, as can be seen by the number of Ex-Dividend Dates in November, which coincides with the "forward look" of about 11 weeks for this article. I will add a note of caution on the first two companies on the list - both Japanese firms - that I'm not entirely confident about their potential dividend increases, primarily because a couple of other foreign companies have announced lower payments recently, likely because of lower earnings and/or adverse currency exchange. However, both have indicated estimated increases in their 12/1/12 (and 6/1/13) payments - NTT from 35 to 40 Yen per ADR (American Depository Receipt) and DCM from 28 to 30 Yen.

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 Contenders (10-24 years):

Company

Ticker

No.

8/31

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

Nippon Tel&Tel

(NYSE:NTT)

10

23.09

3.56

18.85

9/29/11

0.82

NTT DoCoMo Inc.

(NYSE:DCM)

10

17.02

4.04

15.59

9/29/11

0.69

First of Long Island

(NASDAQ:FLIC)

16

29.95

3.07

4.55

10/4/11

0.92

West Pharmaceutical

(NYSE:WST)

19

47.35

1.52

5.88

10/17/11

0.72

Matthews International

(NASDAQ:MATW)

17

29.93

1.20

12.50

10/27/11

0.36

Brown & Brown Inc.

(NYSE:BRO)

18

26.24

1.30

6.25

10/31/11

0.34

Westamerica Bancorp

(NASDAQ:WABC)

20

46.55

3.18

2.78

11/3/11

1.48

Northeast Indiana Banc.

(OTCQB:NIDB)

17

16.10

4.47

2.86

11/4/11

0.72

Atmos Energy

(NYSE:ATO)

24

34.94

3.95

1.47

11/22/11

1.38

StanCorp Financial Gp

(NYSE:SFG)

13

31.22

2.85

3.49

11/23/11

0.89

Meredith Corp.

(NYSE:MDP)

18

32.56

4.70

50.00

11/28/11

1.53

Arrow Financial Corp.

(NASDAQ:AROW)

18

24.44

4.09

3.00

11/30/11

1.00

Met Pro Corp.

(NYSE:MPR)

11

9.12

3.11

7.58

11/30/11

0.28

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 Contenders: 13 Increases Expected In The Next 11 Weeks