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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.

More Good News Ahead

As you can see by the number of Ex-Dividend Dates in November and December, there's a noticeable pick-up in the number of companies that typically increase their dividends in the last part of the year, which coincides with the "forward look" of about 11 weeks for this article.

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 Challengers (5-9 years):

Company

Ticker

No.

9/28

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

MSC Industrial Direct Co.

(MSM)

9

67.46

1.48

13.64

11/2/11

1.00

Natural Resource Prtns

(NRP)

9

20.73

10.61

1.85

11/2/11

2.20

Visa Inc.

(V)

5

134.28

0.66

46.67

11/16/11

0.88

American Science and Eng.

(ASEI)

5

65.61

3.05

66.67

11/17/11

2.00

AmerisourceBergen Corp.

(ABC)

7

38.71

1.34

13.04

11/17/11

0.52

WaterFurnace Renewable

(OTC:WFIFF)

9

17.11

5.61

9.09

11/18/11

0.96

Evercore Partners Inc.

(EVR)

5

27.00

2.96

11.11

11/22/11

0.80

Perrigo Company

(PRGO)

9

116.17

0.28

14.29

11/22/11

0.32

Mesa Laboratories Inc.

(MLAB)

9

48.38

1.07

8.33

11/23/11

0.52

Hanover Insurance Group

(THG)

7

37.26

3.22

9.09

11/25/11

1.20

Union Pacific

(UNP)

6

118.70

2.02

26.32

11/28/11

2.40

Aaron's Inc.

(AAN)

9

27.81

0.22

15.38

11/29/11

0.06

TransAlta Corp.

(TAC)

6

15.28

7.74

5.81

11/29/11

1.18

American Equity Investment

(AEL)

9

11.63

1.03

20.00

11/30/11

0.12

DeVry Inc.

(DV)

6

22.76

1.32

25.00

12/6/11

0.30

Laclede Group Inc.

(LG)

9

43.00

3.86

2.47

12/8/11

1.66

Utah Medical Products Inc.

(UTMD)

8

33.99

2.82

2.13

12/12/11

0.96

J&J Snack Foods Corp.

(JJSF)

8

57.33

0.91

10.64

12/13/11

0.52

NewMarket Corp.

(NEU)

7

246.48

1.22

25.00

12/13/11

3.00

Hillenbrand Inc.

(HI)

5

18.19

4.23

1.32

12/14/11

0.77

PennantPark Investment

(PNNT)

6

10.61

10.56

3.70

12/21/11

1.12

Edison International

(EIX)

9

45.69

2.85

1.56

12/28/11

1.30

Ensign Group Inc.

(ENSG)

5

30.60

0.78

9.09

12/28/11

0.24

In addition to the increases above, there are three "Near-Challengers" that are due to declare their fifth straight annual increases, qualifying them to join the Challengers listing:

Techne Corp.

(TECH)

11/3/11

Beacon Federal Bancorp

(BFED)

12/9/11

Silvercorp Metals Inc.

(SVM)

12/28/11

There are also about two dozen MLPs (Master Limited Partnerships) among the Dividend Contenders and Challengers that tend to increase the payout each quarter, which they are likely to do in late October or early November. 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 Challengers: 23 Increases Expected By Year-End