Dividend Challengers (And Near-Challengers): 153 Increases Expected By The End Of March

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Includes: AGCO, AGM, AGO, AHH, AIT, AIV, AJG, ALE, ALK, ALL, ALLE, ALX, AMSF, ARGO, ATVI, AVB, AVT, BAH, BAM, BIG, BORT, BPFH, BPY, BSRR, BUSE, CHS, CLDB, CME, CNS, COLB, CONE, CRI, CSGS, CZWI, DHR, DNKN, DOX, DPS-OLD, DPZ, EFX, EMCF, EPR, ESCA, ESLT, ETN, EVBN, EXPO, FBIZ, FCCO, FDEF, FFG, FFIC, FHN, FIBK, FLIR, FORR, FR, FSFG, FXNC, GATX, GBNK, GIL, GLT, GLW, GME, HBI, HD, HLAN, HMN, HOG, HRC, HTBK, HUM, HURC, IBOC, ICE, INDB, IPG, ITT, KALU, KSS, LAMR, LEA, LMAT, LVS, MC, MCO, MCS, MGA, MINI, MKTX, MLR, MPW, MTN, NASB, NATI, NI, NSEC, NWBI, NXST, OGS, OLBK, OPOF, OTTR, OVLY, PEBK, PEG, PLD, PLOW, PNBI, POWI, PRU, PSB, QNBC, RHP, RMAX, ROIC, RS, RUTH, SCS, SFBC, SFNC, SMP, SNI, SNV, SPB, SPTN, SSB, STLD, TBNK, TCO, TEX, TRUX, TSBK, TXRH, TYPE, UBOH, UNB, UPS, VLO, VMC, WAFD, WEN, WLTW, WRI, WSBC, WTBFA, WTFC, WYN, XL, XRAY, XRX, XYL
by: David Fish

Summary

Groundhog Day starts the deluge of increases.

Two companies graduate to Contender status, and 27 new Challengers swell the CCC universe.

A wide array of yields and dividend growth offers diversity.

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 at 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 Meets the Groundhog

After a slow start to the New Year, the first quarter becomes the busiest time of the year for dividend increase announcements, starting, as usual, around Groundhog Day. The number of announcements for all Champions, Contenders, Challengers, and Near-Challengers expected in the next 11 weeks has risen to a staggering 221 now, up from just 109 last month and a peak of 146 in my mid-October articles. (The latest numbers are even up from the 186 around Groundhog Day 2017.)

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, and there are over 100 companies ready to become Challengers in the next 12 months.

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)

... beginning with 23 companies between now and February 10:

... followed by 29 more by the end of February:

... and 30 more in the first 9 days of March:

... and another 26 by March 23:

... and 18 in the final week of March:

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

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

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 HBI.

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.