Dividend Challengers And Near-Challengers: 61 Increases Expected By February 29

|
Includes: AET, AGO, AIT, ALE, ALL, APOG, BAH, BCPC, BIP, BLX, BMR, BURCA, CBL, CFNL, CLB, CLDB, CLDT, CMS, CPSI, DNB, EMCF, ENSG, EPR, EWBC, F, FIBK, FINL, FLIR, FXCB, GATX, GLW, GPN, GSM, HCI, HOG, ISBC, JWN, LB, LFGP, LPLA, MKTX, MOFG, NRG, NWBI, NWL, ONB, PCTI, PEI, PRA, PRI, SLB, SMP, SNI, SSB, TWX, UBOH, UNP, UPS, WAFD, WPZ, XYL
by: David Fish

Summary

February Features a Surge in Dividend Hikes.

Union Pacific set to Graduate to Contender Status.

Double-Digit Increases May Be in Store for Some Companies.

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.

Increases Build Momentum in Early 2016

As many readers may recall, dividend increase announcements pick up early each year as we head into Shareholder Meeting Season in April and May. So after brief lulls around Christmas and New Year's Day, January starts out slowly and then activity will pick up in February and beyond. The number of such announcements for all Champions, Contenders, Challengers, and Near-Challengers expected by the end of February has increased from to just 72 a month ago to 111 now, and that figure should move higher as the Spring progresses.

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.

11/30

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

DGR

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

5-yr

Balchem Inc.

(NASDAQ:BCPC)

6

68.49

0.44

15.38

12/24/14

0.30

32.5

CBL & Associates Prop.

(NYSE:CBL)

5

13.07

8.11

8.16

12/26/14

1.06

1.7

ProAssurance Corp.

(NYSE:PRA)

5

52.91

2.34

3.33

12/26/14

1.24

n/a

BioMed Realty Trust Inc.

(NYSE:BMR)

5

23.47

4.43

4.00

12/29/14

1.04

2.4

Ensign Group Inc.

(NASDAQ:ENSG)

8

47.57

0.63

7.14

12/29/14

0.30

16.3

Banco Latinoamericano

(NYSE:BLX)

5

27.76

5.55

10.00

12/31/14

1.54

15.9

Aetna Inc.

(NYSE:AET)

5

102.75

0.97

11.11

1/13/15

1.00

86.4

Core Laboratories NV

(NYSE:CLB)

8

118.15

1.86

10.00

1/21/15

2.20

58.5

Chatham Lodging Trust

(NYSE:CLDT)

6

22.79

5.27

25.00

1/28/15

1.20

n/a

EPR Properties

(NYSE:EPR)

5

56.04

6.48

6.14

1/28/15

3.63

4.0

East West Bancorp

(NASDAQ:EWBC)

5

43.38

1.84

11.11

1/29/15

0.80

70.5

First Interstate Bancsystem

(NASDAQ:FIBK)

6

30.41

2.63

25.00

1/29/15

0.80

n/a

Washington Federal Inc.

(NASDAQ:WAFD)

5

25.84

2.01

18.18

1/29/15

0.52

16.0

Cardinal Financial Corp.

(NASDAQ:CFNL)

6

24.60

1.79

10.00

2/3/15

0.44

53.4

Northwest Bancshares Inc.

(NASDAQ:NWBI)

6

13.94

4.02

7.69

2/3/15

0.56

5.9

CMS Energy Corp.

(NYSE:CMS)

9

35.02

3.31

7.41

2/4/15

1.16

16.7

PCTEL Inc.

(NASDAQ:PCTI)

5

5.33

3.75

25.00

2/4/15

0.20

n/a

Williams Partners LP new

(NYSE:WPZ)

6

27.42

12.40

51.65

2/5/15

3.40

n/a

Schlumberger Limited

(NYSE:SLB)

5

77.15

2.59

25.00

2/9/15

2.00

12.5

Fox Chase Bancorp Inc.

(NASDAQ:FXCB)

5

18.24

3.07

16.67

2/10/15

0.56

n/a

MarketAxess Holdings Inc.

(NASDAQ:MKTX)

7

106.78

0.75

25.00

2/10/15

0.80

55.7

Applied Industrial Tech.

(NYSE:AIT)

6

42.65

2.53

8.00

2/11/15

1.08

10.8

Allete Inc.

(NYSE:ALE)

5

50.95

3.96

3.06

2/12/15

2.02

2.2

Standard Motor Products

(NYSE:SMP)

6

41.76

1.44

15.38

2/12/15

0.60

n/a

Harley-Davidson Inc.

(NYSE:HOG)

5

48.92

2.53

12.73

2/13/15

1.24

22.4

Xylem Inc.

(NYSE:XYL)

5

37.32

1.51

10.00

2/13/15

0.56

n/a

Flir Systems Inc.

(NASDAQ:FLIR)

5

30.56

1.44

10.00

2/18/15

0.44

n/a

HCI Group Inc.

(NYSE:HCI)

6

39.13

3.07

9.09

2/18/15

1.20

n/a

L Brands Inc.

(NYSE:LB)

5

95.41

2.10

47.06

2/18/15

2.00

17.8

Primerica Inc.

(NYSE:PRI)

6

51.24

1.25

33.33

2/18/15

0.64

n/a

United Parcel Service Inc.

(NYSE:UPS)

6

103.01

2.83

8.96

2/19/15

2.92

8.3

Dun & Bradstreet Corp.

(NYSE:DNB)

9

107.79

1.72

5.11

2/20/15

1.85

5.3

Brookfield Infrastructure LP

(NYSE:BIP)

8

41.54

5.10

10.42

2/25/15

2.12

12.6

Corning Inc.

(NYSE:GLW)

5

18.73

2.56

20.00

2/25/15

0.48

14.9

Finish Line Inc. (The)

(NASDAQ:FINL)

8

16.59

2.17

12.50

2/25/15

0.36

21.7

GATX Corp.

(GMT)

5

46.30

3.28

15.15

2/25/15

1.52

3.3

MidWest One Financial Gp

(NASDAQ:MOFG)

5

31.75

1.89

3.45

2/25/15

0.60

13.9

Newell Rubbermaid Inc.

(NYSE:NWL)

5

44.66

1.70

11.76

2/25/15

0.76

20.9

Nordstrom Inc.

(NYSE:JWN)

6

56.31

2.63

12.12

2/25/15

1.48

15.6

Time Warner Inc.

(NYSE:TWX)

6

69.98

2.00

10.24

2/25/15

1.40

11.6

Union Pacific

(NYSE:UNP)

9

83.95

2.62

10.00

2/25/15

2.20

27.3

Allstate Corp.

(NYSE:ALL)

5

62.76

1.91

7.14

2/26/15

1.20

7.0

Emclaire Financial Corp.

(NASDAQ:EMCF)

5

24.96

3.85

9.09

2/26/15

0.96

3.5

Heartland Payment Sys.

(HPY)

5

79.34

0.50

17.65

2/26/15

0.40

44.0

Scripps Networks Interactive

(NYSE:SNI)

5

56.80

1.62

15.00

2/26/15

0.92

21.7

MR=Most Recent; LY=Last Year; DGR=Dividend Growth Rate through 2014

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

Ford Motor Company

(NYSE:F)

4

1/28/15

NRG Energy Inc.

(NYSE:NRG)

4

1/29/15

Apogee Enterprises Inc.

(NASDAQ:APOG)

4

2/3/15

Investors Bancorp

(NASDAQ:ISBC)

4

2/5/15

Booz Allen Hamilton Holding

(NYSE:BAH)

4

2/6/15

Computer Programs & Sys.

(NASDAQ:CPSI)

4

2/10/15

Ledyard Financial Group Inc.

(OTCQB:LFGP)

4

2/11/15

South State Corp.

(NASDAQ:SSB)

4

2/11/15

Cortland Bancorp

(OTCQX:CLDB)

4

2/12/15

Assured Guaranty Ltd.

(NYSE:AGO)

4

2/13/15

Globe Specialty Metals Inc.

(NASDAQ:GSM)

4

2/23/15

United Bancshares Inc.

(NASDAQ:UBOH)

4

2/25/15

LPL Financial Holdings Inc.

(NASDAQ:LPLA)

4

2/26/15

Old National Bancorp

(NYSE:ONB)

4

2/26/15

Pennsylvania REIT

(NYSE:PEI)

4

2/26/15

Burnham Holdings Inc.

(OTCPK:BURCA)

4

2/27/15

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: I am/we are long UNP.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have 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.

About this article:

Expand
Author payment: Seeking Alpha pays for exclusive articles. Payment calculations are based on a combination of coverage area, popularity and quality.
Want to share your opinion on this article? Add a comment.
Disagree with this article? .
To report a factual error in this article, click here