Dividend Contenders: 30 Increases Expected By February 28

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Includes: ADI, ANDE, AOS, AVA, BIP, BKUTK, CHD, CMP, CMS, CVS, DNB, EBTC, ES, FAST, FINL, FRFC, JBHT, LARK, LLL, LNT, MDNB, MDP, NEE, NUS, PII, RHI, ROL, ROP, TRI, WELL
by: David Fish
Summary

Roper, A.O. Smith, Thomson Reuters, and Meredith to become Champions.

Activity picks up around Groundhog Day.

Which double-digit growth rates will continue?

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.

Dividend Growth Activity Accelerates

Except for a holiday lull, the pace of dividend-increase announcements should continue to surge as the fourth quarter of 2017 gives way to the first quarter of 2018, those being the busiest quarters for such activity. The number of announcements for all Champions, Contenders, Challengers, and Near-Challengers expected in the next 11 weeks rises to 109 now, from 94 last month, which was down from 146 in my mid-October articles. (Those numbers are still below the 186 during the busiest season, around Groundhog Day 2017, so we should see another surge next month.) As mentioned previously, 2018 should be a banner year for new Champions, as there are more than a dozen companies with current streaks of 24 years, while the Contenders will be replenished by a similar number of companies adding to their current 9-year streaks.

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. 11/30/17 Div. MR% LY Annual DGR
Name Symbol Yrs Price Yield Inc. Ex-Div Dividend 5-yr
Bank of Utica BKUTK 17 475.00 2.88 7.03 12/28/16 13.70 7.5
Andersons Inc. (The) ANDE 15 32.30 1.98 3.23 12/29/16 0.64 16.1
Roper Technologies Inc. ROP 24 267.21 0.52 16.67 1/5/17 1.40 22.2
Minden Bancorp Inc. MDNB 15 31.44 2.04 14.29 1/19/17 0.64 16.8
CVS Health Corp. CVS 14 76.60 2.61 17.65 1/20/17 2.00 27.7
A.O. Smith Corp. AOS 24 63.42 0.88 16.67 1/27/17 0.56 26.2
Alliant Energy Corp. LNT 14 45.11 2.79 7.23 1/27/17 1.26 6.7
Fastenal Company FAST 18 52.39 2.44 6.67 1/30/17 1.28 18.0
CMS Energy Corp. CMS 11 49.90 2.67 7.26 2/1/17 1.33 8.1
Welltower Inc. HCN 14 67.46 5.16 1.16 2/3/17 3.48 3.9
Enterprise Bancorp Inc. EBTC 23 37.36 1.45 3.85 2/6/17 0.54 4.4
JB Hunt Transport Services Inc. JBHT 14 111.14 0.83 4.55 2/8/17 0.92 11.1
Rollins Inc. ROL 15 46.35 0.99 15.00 2/8/17 0.46 16.5
Landmark Bancorp Inc. LARK 16 27.90 2.73 5.00 2/13/17 0.76 6.1
Church & Dwight CHD 21 47.09 1.61 7.04 2/16/17 0.76 15.9
Dun & Bradstreet Corp. DNB 11 123.11 1.63 4.15 2/21/17 2.01 6.0
Thomson Reuters Corp. TRI 24 44.07 3.13 1.47 2/21/17 1.38 1.9
Analog Devices Inc. ADI 15 86.11 2.09 7.14 2/22/17 1.80 11.6
Avista Corp. AVA 15 51.94 2.75 4.38 2/22/17 1.43 4.5
Finish Line Inc. (The) FINL 10 10.79 4.08 10.00 2/22/17 0.44 14.9
Robert Half International Inc. RHI 14 57.04 1.68 9.09 2/22/17 0.96 9.5
Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. NUS 17 67.91 2.12 1.41 2/23/17 1.44 19.2
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP BIP 10 42.84 4.06 10.59 2/24/17 1.74 11.9
Meredith Corp. MDP 24 68.15 3.05 5.05 2/24/17 2.08 11.5
NextEra Energy Inc. NEE 23 158.04 2.49 12.93 2/24/17 3.93 9.6
Compass Minerals International CMP 14 69.75 4.13 3.60 2/27/17 2.88 9.1
L3 Technologies Inc. LLL 14 198.59 1.51 7.14 2/27/17 3.00 10.1
Polaris Industries PII 22 127.01 1.83 5.45 2/27/17 2.32 19.6
Eversource Energy ES 19 64.85 2.93 6.74 2/28/17 1.90 10.1
First Robinson Financial Corp. FRFC 16 40.55 2.86 3.57 2/28/17 1.16 5.2
MR=Most Recent; LY=Last Year; DGR=Dividend Growth Rate

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.

Disclaimer: Just because a chart looks “interesting” does not make it a Recommendation!

Disclosure: I am/we are long CVS,PII. 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 microcap stocks. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.