Dividend Challengers: 24 Increases Expected By February 28

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Includes: AIT, AIV, AJG, ALE, ALL, AMGN, ANDX, BCPC, BIP, CLB, CMS, CNA, CNP, CPA, CUBE, DNB, EFX, EMCF, EME, EPR, EWBC, FCF, FIBK, FINL, FLIR, FMAO, GATX, GPN, HEI, HME, HOG, INGR, LAZ, LB, LEA, LGCY, MAT, MCO, MKTX, MMLP, MOFG, MWE, OA, PCBK, PDER, PFE, PRI, RAS, RES, SLB, SMP, SNI, TESS, TOO, TRTN, UPS, VER, VLO, WDR, X
by: David Fish

Summary

Also: 38 Near-Challengers Ready to "Graduate".

February is Heavy for Ex-Dividend Dates.

Plenty of Diversification Possibilities.

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. I have separated the Champions (25 or more years of higher dividends), Contenders (10-24 years), and Challengers (5-9 years) into distinct groupings, so please look for the other articles, which I hope will be published about the same time. Note that "CCC" refers to the combination of Champions, Contenders, and Challengers.

Holiday Revelry

The torrid pace of dividend increases continued in December, led by companies that typically boost their payouts near year-end, and that trend should continue early in 2015. I'm still excluding foreign stocks that trade as ADRs (American Depository Receipts), unless they declare dividends in US$, since the declarations may only estimate the US$ amount and the exact amount won't be known until after payment, so it would be misleading to list these companies as "expected" to raise their dividend when the outcome is uncertain. The good news is that most of those foreign firms are still managing to stay on the list of dividend increases.

The table below coincides with the usual "forward look" of about 11 weeks for this article. 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.

11/28

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

DGR

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

5-yr

Balchem Inc.

(NASDAQ:BCPC)

5

65.00

0.40

18.18

12/19/13

0.26

24.6

Farmers and Merchants

(NASDAQ:FMAO)

9

26.00

3.23

5.00

12/27/13

0.84

3.9

HEICO Corp.

(NYSE:HEI)

7

53.01

0.23

7.14

12/31/13

0.12

22.3

Core Laboratories NV

(NYSE:CLB)

7

128.83

1.55

56.25

1/22/14

2.00

66.5

Teekay Offshore Partners

(NYSE:TOO)

8

25.71

8.38

2.49

1/29/14

2.15

4.8

TESSCO Technologies

(NASDAQ:TESS)

6

27.92

2.87

11.11

1/29/14

0.80

n/a

First Interstate Bancsys.

(NASDAQ:FIBK)

5

28.12

2.28

14.29

1/31/14

0.64

n/a

CMS Energy Corp.

(NYSE:CMS)

8

33.10

3.26

5.88

2/5/14

1.08

23.2

Lazard Limited

(NYSE:LAZ)

7

51.52

2.33

20.00

2/6/14

1.20

18.9

MarketAxess Holdings Inc.

(NASDAQ:MKTX)

6

65.57

0.98

23.08

2/11/14

0.64

n/a

Applied Industrial Tech.

(NYSE:AIT)

5

46.89

2.13

8.70

2/12/14

1.00

8.9

CenterPoint Energy

(NYSE:CNP)

9

23.94

3.97

14.46

2/12/14

0.95

2.6

Standard Motor Products

(NYSE:SMP)

5

38.15

1.36

18.18

2/13/14

0.52

4.1

Mattel Inc.

(NASDAQ:MAT)

5

31.55

4.82

5.56

2/18/14

1.52

13.9

Moody's Corp.

(NYSE:MCO)

5

101.01

1.11

12.00

2/18/14

1.12

17.6

Primerica Inc.

(NYSE:PRI)

5

52.43

0.92

9.09

2/18/14

0.48

n/a

United Parcel Service Inc.

(NYSE:UPS)

5

109.92

2.44

8.06

2/20/14

2.68

6.6

Dun & Bradstreet Corp.

(NYSE:DNB)

8

126.95

1.39

10.00

2/21/14

1.76

5.9

Equifax Inc.

(NYSE:EFX)

5

79.55

1.26

13.64

2/21/14

1.00

40.6

Brookfield Infrastructure

(NYSE:BIP)

7

41.50

4.63

11.63

2/26/14

1.92

14.3

Copa Holdings SA

(NYSE:CPA)

5

111.91

3.43

3.50

2/26/14

3.84

58.6

Finish Line Inc. (The)

(NASDAQ:FINL)

7

28.54

1.12

14.29

2/26/14

0.32

36.1

Pardee Resource Co.

(OTCPK:PDER)

9

278.00

2.52

2.94

2/26/14

7.00

15.1

TAL International Group

(NYSE:TAL)

5

44.19

6.52

2.86

2/27/14

2.88

10.7

MR=Most Recent; LY=Last Year; DGR=Dividend Growth Rate through 2013

In addition, there's a number of Near-Challengers that are on schedule to record their fifth year of increases during this period:

Company

Ticker

No.

LY

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Ex-Div

Ingredion Inc.

(NYSE:INGR)

4

12/27/13

CubeSmart

(NYSE:CUBE)

4

12/30/13

RAIT Financial Trust

(NYSE:RAS)

4

1/3/14

Waddell & Reed Financial

(NYSE:WDR)

4

1/9/14

EMCOR Group Inc.

(NYSE:EME)

4

1/22/14

Crosstex Energy Inc.

(XTXI)

4

1/28/14

Crosstex Energy LP

(XTEX)

4

1/28/14

EPR Properties

(NYSE:EPR)

4

1/29/14

East West Bancorp

(NASDAQ:EWBC)

4

1/30/14

Legacy Reserves LP

(NASDAQ:LGCY)

4

1/30/14

Pacific Continental Corp.

(NASDAQ:PCBK)

4

1/30/14

Tesoro Logistics LP

(TLLP)

4

1/30/14

MarkWest Energy Partners

(NYSE:MWE)

4

2/4/14

American Realty Capital

(ARCP)

4

2/5/14

Martin Midstream Partners

(NASDAQ:MMLP)

4

2/5/14

Pfizer Inc.

(NYSE:PFE)

4

2/5/14

First Commonwealth Fin'l

(NYSE:FCF)

4

2/6/14

RPC Inc.

(NYSE:RES)

4

2/6/14

Valero Energy Corp.

(NYSE:VLO)

4

2/10/14

Amgen Inc.

(NASDAQ:AMGN)

4

2/11/14

Home Properties Inc.

(NYSE:HME)

4

2/11/14

Allete Inc.

(NYSE:ALE)

4

2/12/14

Apt. Invest. & Management

(NYSE:AIV)

4

2/12/14

Flir Systems Inc.

(NASDAQ:FLIR)

4

2/14/14

Harley-Davidson Inc.

(NYSE:HOG)

4

2/14/14

Schlumberger Limited

(NYSE:SLB)

4

2/14/14

Xylem Inc.

(NYSE:XYL)

4

2/14/14

L Brands Inc.

(NYSE:LB)

4

2/19/14

CNA Financial Corp.

(NYSE:CNA)

4

2/20/14

GATX Corp.

(GMT)

4

2/26/14

Lear Corp.

(NYSE:LEA)

4

2/26/14

MidWest One Financial

(NASDAQ:MOFG)

4

2/26/14

Scripps Networks Interact.

(NYSE:SNI)

4

2/26/14

Allstate Corp.

(NYSE:ALL)

4

2/27/14

Emclaire Financial Corp.

(NASDAQ:EMCF)

4

2/27/14

Heartland Payment Sys.

(HPY)

4

2/27/14

Alliant Techsystems Inc.

(ATK)

4

2/28/14

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

(NYSE:AJG)

4

2/28/14

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.

Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Editor's Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.