Dividend Contenders: 44 Increases Expected By December 31

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Includes: AAN, ABC, AEL, AIZ, ANDE, AROW, ATR, AXS, BKUTK, BOBE, BOKF, CASS, CHRW, CNI, COLM, DCP, ECL, EIX, ENB, ETE, JJSF, LECO, MATW, MSM, NEU, NIDB, NKE, NKSH, OKE, PB, SJI, SR, STON, SYK, THG, THVB, TXN, UBA, UMBF, UTMD, VGR, WABC, WHG, YORW
by: David Fish

Summary

Westamerica, Ecolab, and UMB Financial set to become Champions.

How plentiful will double-digit increase be?

Will MLPs disappoint?

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.

Dividend Growth Season in Full Swing

The Dividend Growth surge that emerged last month marked the start of the busiest period of the year, namely the fourth quarter of one year and the first quarter of the next. The number of announcements for all Champions, Contenders, Challengers, and Near-Challengers expected in the next 11 weeks has increased from exactly 100 a month ago to 144 now, the typical increase for the next six months or so. That should offer some reassurance that the "counter" trend highlighted in my recent article is not as devastating as it may have seemed. While the typical fourth-quarter Freezes tend to eliminate the "weak" CCC components, it's clear that the strong companies continue to thrive!

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 Contenders (10-24 years):

Company

Ticker

No.

9/30

Div.

MR%

LY

Ann.

DGR

Name

Symbol

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

Ex-Div

Div.

5-yr

Texas Instruments

(NYSE:TXN)

12

70.18

2.17

11.76

10/28/15

1.52

23.4

ONEOK Inc.

(NYSE:OKE)

13

51.39

4.79

1.65

10/29/15

2.46

25.1

Westamerica Bancorp

(NASDAQ:WABC)

24

50.88

3.07

2.63

10/29/15

1.56

1.2

AptarGroup Inc.

(NYSE:ATR)

22

77.41

1.55

7.14

11/2/15

1.20

11.6

Energy Transfer Equity LP

(NYSE:ETE)

10

16.79

6.79

7.55

11/3/15

1.14

13.6

DCP Midstream Partners LP

(DPM)

10

35.33

8.83

1.30

11/4/15

3.12

5.2

StoneMor Partners LP

(NYSE:STON)

11

25.04

10.54

1.54

11/4/15

2.64

3.0

MSC Industrial Direct Co. Inc.

(NYSE:MSM)

13

73.41

2.34

7.50

11/6/15

1.72

14.2

Northeast Indiana Bancorp

(OTCQB:NIDB)

21

31.50

2.67

5.00

11/6/15

0.84

3.4

BOK Financial Corp.

(NASDAQ:BOKF)

11

68.97

2.49

2.38

11/11/15

1.72

11.3

AmerisourceBergen Corp.

(NYSE:ABC)

11

80.78

1.68

17.24

11/12/15

1.36

28.9

Enbridge Inc.

(NYSE:ENB)

20

44.23

3.32

15.90

11/12/15

1.47

12.3

National Bankshares

(NASDAQ:NKSH)

16

36.78

3.10

0.88

11/13/15

1.14

4.6

Columbia Sportswear Co.

(NASDAQ:COLM)

10

56.74

1.20

13.33

11/17/15

0.68

10.9

Matthews International

(NASDAQ:MATW)

21

60.76

0.99

15.38

11/19/15

0.60

13.2

American Equity Invest. Life

(NYSE:AEL)

12

17.73

1.24

10.00

11/25/15

0.22

17.1

Assurant Inc.

(NYSE:AIZ)

12

92.25

2.17

66.67

11/25/15

2.00

16.8

Bob Evans Farms

(NASDAQ:BOBE)

10

38.30

3.55

9.68

11/25/15

1.36

10.8

Aaron's Inc.

(NYSE:AAN)

13

25.42

0.39

8.70

11/27/15

0.10

14.4

Thomasville Bancshares Inc.

(OTCPK:THVB)

14

33.00

1.14

15.38

11/30/15

0.38

20.1

Arrow Financial Corp.

(NASDAQ:AROW)

22

32.83

2.96

2.00

12/1/15

0.97

3.0

Cass Information Systems Inc.

(NASDAQ:CASS)

14

56.65

1.55

4.76

12/2/15

0.88

12.1

Nike Inc.

(NYSE:NKE)

14

52.65

1.22

14.29

12/7/15

0.64

14.9

Canadian National Railway

(NYSE:CNI)

19

65.40

1.51

8.91

12/8/15

0.99

13.5

South Jersey Industries

(NYSE:SJI)

17

29.55

3.57

4.98

12/8/15

1.06

8.2

UMB Financial Corp.

(NASDAQ:UMBF)

24

59.45

1.65

4.26

12/8/15

0.98

4.9

Spire Inc.

(NYSE:SR)

13

63.74

3.07

6.52

12/9/15

1.96

3.1

C.H. Robinson Worldwide

(NASDAQ:CHRW)

18

70.46

2.44

13.16

12/10/15

1.72

8.6

Ecolab Inc.

(NYSE:ECL)

24

121.72

1.15

6.06

12/11/15

1.40

16.3

NewMarket Corp.

(NYSE:NEU)

11

429.32

1.49

14.29

12/11/15

6.40

30.1

Vector Group Ltd.

(NYSE:VGR)

18

21.53

7.43

5.00

12/11/15

1.60

5.0

Westwood Holdings Group Inc.

(NYSE:WHG)

14

53.11

4.29

14.00

12/11/15

2.28

8.7

Utah Medical Products Inc.

(NASDAQ:UTMD)

12

59.80

1.74

1.96

12/14/15

1.04

1.7

Hanover Insurance Group

(NYSE:THG)

11

75.42

2.44

12.20

12/16/15

1.84

11.1

Prosperity Bancshares

(NYSE:PB)

17

54.89

2.19

10.09

12/16/15

1.20

11.9

J&J Snack Foods Corp.

(NASDAQ:JJSF)

12

119.12

1.31

8.33

12/18/15

1.56

27.3

Axis Capital Holdings Ltd.

(NYSE:AXS)

14

54.33

2.58

20.69

12/29/15

1.40

6.7

Bank of Utica

(OTCPK:BKUTK)

16

425.10

3.01

4.92

12/29/15

12.80

9.1

Edison International

(NYSE:EIX)

13

72.25

2.66

14.97

12/29/15

1.92

5.8

Lincoln Electric Holdings

(NASDAQ:LECO)

21

62.62

2.04

10.34

12/29/15

1.28

15.7

Stryker Corp.

(NYSE:SYK)

23

116.41

1.31

10.14

12/29/15

1.52

18.1

York Water Company

(NASDAQ:YORW)

19

29.66

2.10

4.01

12/29/15

0.62

3.2

Andersons Inc. (The)

(NASDAQ:ANDE)

14

36.18

1.71

10.71

12/30/15

0.62

18.6

Urstadt Biddle Properties

(NYSE:UBA)

22

22.22

4.68

1.96

12/31/15

1.04

1.0

MR=Most Recent; LY=Last Year; DGR=Dividend Growth Rate through 2015

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/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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.

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