Dividend Challengers (And Near-Challengers): 98 Increases Expected By The End Of March

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Includes: AIT, AIV, AJG, ALE, ALL, ANTM, ATVI, BGS, BIP, BLK, CCE, CEB, CHSP, CMCSA, CME, CMS, CNA, CNP, CNS, CPA, CPT, DNB, DPS-OLD, EFX, EMCF, ENH, EPR, ETN, EWBC, FCF, FFG, FIBK, FINL, FLIR, FLS, FMC, GATX, GPN, HD, HME, HMN, HOG, HRC, HSBC, IEP, INDB, IR, JWN, KSS, KW, LAZ, LB, LEA, LMAT, MAR, MAT, MELI, MGA, MJN, MKTX, OA
by: David Fish

Summary

February and March may be Busiest Time for Increases.

Dozens of New Challengers Possible.

Can Last Year's New Challengers Repeat?

In compiling the Dividend Champions list 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.

After a Lull, the Floodgates Open

The pace of dividend increases slowed in January, but should pick up dramatically in February and March, led by companies that typically boost their payouts after reporting fourth-quarter results. I expect that pace to continue into April and May, since many other companies typically boost the dividend during the annual shareholder meeting "season." In addition to those shown, about two dozen MLPs (Master Limited Partnerships) tend to increase their distributions every quarter, which we should see in late January or early February...and again in late April/early May, etc.

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.

12/31

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

DGR

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

5-yr

TESSCO Technologies Inc.

(NASDAQ:TESS)

6

29.00

2.76

11.11

1/29/14

0.80

43.1

First Interstate Bancsystem

(NASDAQ:FIBK)

5

27.82

2.30

14.29

1/31/14

0.64

n/a

CMS Energy Corp.

(NYSE:CMS)

8

34.75

3.11

5.88

2/5/14

1.08

16.7

Lazard Limited

(NYSE:LAZ)

7

50.03

2.40

20.00

2/6/14

1.20

21.7

MarketAxess Holdings Inc.

(NASDAQ:MKTX)

6

71.71

0.89

23.08

2/11/14

0.64

55.7

Applied Industrial Tech.

(NYSE:AIT)

5

45.59

2.19

8.70

2/12/14

1.00

10.8

CenterPoint Energy

(NYSE:CNP)

9

23.43

4.05

14.46

2/12/14

0.95

4.6

Standard Motor Products Inc.

(NYSE:SMP)

5

38.12

1.36

18.18

2/13/14

0.52

n/a

Mattel Inc.

(NASDAQ:MAT)

5

30.94

4.91

5.56

2/18/14

1.52

15.2

Primerica Inc.

(NYSE:PRI)

5

54.26

0.88

9.09

2/18/14

0.48

n/a

United Parcel Service Inc.

(NYSE:UPS)

5

111.17

2.41

8.06

2/20/14

2.68

8.3

Dun & Bradstreet Corp.

(NYSE:DNB)

8

120.96

1.46

10.00

2/21/14

1.76

5.3

Equifax Inc.

(NYSE:EFX)

5

80.87

1.24

13.64

2/21/14

1.00

44.3

Pardee Resource Company

(OTCPK:PDER)

9

260.00

2.69

2.94

2/26/14

7.00

11.8

Copa Holdings SA

(NYSE:CPA)

5

103.64

3.71

3.50

2/26/14

3.84

59.7

Finish Line Inc. (The)

(NASDAQ:FINL)

7

24.31

1.32

14.29

2/26/14

0.32

21.7

Brookfield Infrastructure LP

(NYSE:BIP)

7

41.87

4.59

11.63

2/26/14

1.92

12.6

TAL International Group Inc.

(NYSE:TAL)

5

43.57

6.61

2.86

2/27/14

2.88

135.2

Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.

(NYSE:CCE)

7

44.22

2.26

25.00

3/5/14

1.00

27.2

BlackRock Inc.

(NYSE:BLK)

5

357.56

2.16

14.88

3/5/14

7.72

19.9

Eaton Corp. plc

(NYSE:ETN)

5

67.96

2.88

16.67

3/6/14

1.96

14.4

Nordstrom Inc.

(NYSE:JWN)

5

79.39

1.66

10.00

3/6/14

1.32

15.6

Myers Industries Inc.

(NYSE:MYE)

5

17.60

2.95

44.44

3/6/14

0.52

14.9

Starwood Hotels & Resorts

(HOT)

6

81.07

1.73

3.70

3/7/14

1.40

47.6

Home Depot Inc.

(NYSE:HD)

5

104.97

1.79

20.51

3/11/14

1.88

15.3

Magna International Inc.

(NYSE:MGA)

5

108.69

1.40

18.75

3/12/14

1.52

76.0

Retail Opportunity Invest.

(NASDAQ:ROIC)

5

16.79

3.81

6.67

3/12/14

0.64

n/a

Wyndham Worldwide Corp.

(NYSE:WYN)

5

85.76

1.63

20.69

3/12/14

1.40

54.3

Miller Industries Inc.

(NYSE:MLR)

5

20.79

2.89

7.14

3/13/14

0.60

n/a

Horace Mann Educators

(NYSE:HMN)

5

33.18

2.77

17.95

3/13/14

0.92

31.1

Mead Johnson Nutrition Co.

(NYSE:MJN)

6

100.54

1.49

10.29

3/13/14

1.50

24.0

Dr Pepper Snapple Group

(NYSE:DPS-OLD)

5

71.68

2.29

7.89

3/13/14

1.64

n/a

Symetra Financial Corp.

(NYSE:SYA)

5

23.05

1.74

11.11

3/14/14

0.40

n/a

Tupperware Brands Corp.

(NYSE:TUP)

5

63.00

4.32

9.68

3/17/14

2.72

24.8

Activision Blizzard Inc.

(NASDAQ:ATVI)

5

20.15

0.99

5.26

3/17/14

0.20

n/a

Douglas Dynamics Inc.

(NYSE:PLOW)

5

21.43

4.06

2.35

3/19/14

0.87

n/a

Orange County Bancorp Inc.

(OTCQB:OCBI)

7

43.50

3.77

2.50

3/21/14

1.64

4.0

Cohen & Steers Inc.

(NYSE:CNS)

5

42.08

2.09

10.00

3/26/14

0.88

33.9

Flowserve Corp.

(NYSE:FLS)

8

59.83

1.07

14.29

3/26/14

0.64

11.9

Chesapeake Lodging Trust

(NYSE:CHSP)

5

37.21

3.22

15.38

3/27/14

1.20

n/a

Starwood Property Trust Inc.

(NYSE:STWD)

6

23.24

8.26

29.41

3/27/14

1.92

195.3

Vanguard Natural Resources

(NYSE:VNR)

7

15.07

16.72

1.20

3/28/14

2.52

4.7

Comcast Corp.

(NASDAQ:CMCSA)

7

58.01

1.55

15.38

3/31/14

0.90

26.8

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

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

Pacific Continental Corp.

(NASDAQ:PCBK)

4

1/30/14

MarkWest Energy Partners LP

(NYSE:MWE)

4

2/4/14

Martin Midstream Partners LP

(NASDAQ:MMLP)

4

2/5/14

First Commonwealth Fin'l

(NYSE:FCF)

4

2/6/14

RPC Inc.

(NYSE:RES)

4

2/6/14

Home Properties Inc.

(NYSE:HME)

4

2/11/14

Allete Inc.

(NYSE:ALE)

4

2/12/14

Apartment Invest. & Mgmt

(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 Group

(NASDAQ:MOFG)

4

2/26/14

Scripps Networks Interactive

(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 Systems

(HPY)

4

2/27/14

Alliant Techsystems Inc.

(ATK)

4

2/28/14

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

(NYSE:AJG)

4

2/28/14

Reliance Steel & Aluminum

(NYSE:RS)

4

3/4/14

Weingarten Realty Investors

(NYSE:WRI)

4

3/4/14

Anthem Inc.

(NYSE:ANTM)

4

3/6/14

CME Group Inc.

(NASDAQ:CME)

4

3/6/14

NorthStar Realty Finance Corp.

(NRF)

4

3/6/14

Kohl's Corp.

(NYSE:KSS)

4

3/10/14

Icahn Enterprises LP

(NYSE:IEP)

4

3/11/14

Corporate Executive Board Co.

(NYSE:CEB)

4

3/12/14

FBL Financial Group Inc.

(NYSE:FFG)

4

3/12/14

HSBC Holdings plc

(NYSE:HSBC)

4

3/12/14

Ingersoll-Rand plc

(NYSE:IR)

4

3/12/14

QNB Corp.

(OTCQB:QNBC)

4

3/12/14

Spartan Stores Inc.

(NASDAQ:SPTN)

4

3/12/14

WesBanco Inc.

(NASDAQ:WSBC)

4

3/12/14

Endurance Specialty Holdings

(NYSE:ENH)

4

3/13/14

Texas Roadhouse Inc.

(NASDAQ:TXRH)

4

3/17/14

US Physical Therapy Inc.

(NASDAQ:USPH)

4

3/17/14

Hill-Rom Holdings Inc.

(NYSE:HRC)

4

3/18/14

LeMaitre Vascular Inc.

(NASDAQ:LMAT)

4

3/18/14

B&G Foods Inc.

(NYSE:BGS)

4

3/27/14

Camden Property Trust

(NYSE:CPT)

4

3/27/14

FMC Corp.

(NYSE:FMC)

4

3/27/14

Independent Bancorp MA

(NASDAQ:INDB)

4

3/27/14

Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc.

(NYSE:KW)

4

3/27/14

Mercadolibre Inc.

(NASDAQ:MELI)

4

3/27/14

Nevsun Resources Ltd.

(NYSEMKT:NSU)

4

3/27/14

St. Jude Medical Inc.

(NYSE:STJ)

4

3/27/14

Vail Resorts Inc.

(NYSE:MTN)

4

3/28/14

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 is long CMCSA.

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 covers one or more stocks trading at less than $1 per share and/or with less than a $100 million market cap. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.