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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 Champions (25 or more years):

Company

Ticker

No.

9/28

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

Eaton Vance Corp.

(NYSE:EV)

31

28.96

2.62

5.56

10/27/11

0.76

Emerson Electric

(NYSE:EMR)

55

48.27

3.31

15.94

11/8/11

1.6

Middlesex Water Co.

(NASDAQ:MSEX)

39

19.16

3.86

1.37

11/11/11

0.74

Vectren Corp.

(NYSE:VVC)

52

28.60

4.90

1.45

11/13/11

1.40

AFLAC Inc.

(NYSE:AFL)

29

47.88

2.76

10.00

11/14/11

1.32

Archer Daniels Midland

(NYSE:ADM)

36

27.18

2.58

9.38

11/15/11

0.70

Commerce Bancshares

(NASDAQ:CBSH)

43

40.33

2.28

5.00

11/28/11

0.92

Stepan Company

(NYSE:SCL)

44

96.12

1.17

7.69

11/28/11

1.12

Brown-Forman Class B

(NYSE:BF.B)

28

65.25

1.43

9.37

12/2/11

0.93

Automatic Data Proc.

(NASDAQ:ADP)

37

58.66

2.69

9.72

12/7/11

1.58

Lancaster Colony Corp.

(NASDAQ:LANC)

49

73.25

1.97

9.09

12/7/11

1.44

United Bankshares Inc.

(NASDAQ:UBSI)

38

24.91

4.98

3.33

12/7/11

1.24

VF Corp.

(NYSE:VFC)

39

159.36

1.81

14.29

12/7/11

2.88

Becton Dickinson & Co.

(NYSE:BDX)

40

78.56

2.29

9.76

12/8/11

1.80

Mercury General Corp.

(NYSE:MCY)

25

38.65

6.31

1.67

12/13/11

2.44

Franklin Resources

(NYSE:BEN)

31

125.07

0.86

8.00

12/15/11

1.08

McCormick & Co.

(NYSE:MKC)

26

62.04

2.00

10.71

12/28/11

1.24

Nucor Corp.

(NYSE:NUE)

39

38.26

3.82

0.69

12/28/11

1.46

Valspar Corp.

(NYSE:VAL)

34

56.10

1.43

11.11

12/29/11

0.80

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: 19 Increases Expected By December 31