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The Dividend Champions spreadsheet and PDF have been updated through 4/28/17 and are available here. Note that all references to Champions mean companies that have paid higher dividends for at least 25 straight years; Contenders have streaks of 10-24 years; and Challengers have streaks of 5-9 years. “CCC” refers to the universe of Champions, Contenders, and Challengers.

Two New Champions Highlight April Action

April saw the promotion of the newest Champions, Franklin Electric Co. (NASDAQ:FELE) and People’s United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT), both of which recorded their 25th straight year of higher dividends, boosting the number of Champions to 110. That number may dip again, though, as C.R. Bard (NYSE:BCR) became the third current Champion to agree to be acquired, selling itself to Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BDX) this past week. (Both companies have 45-year streaks of increases.) Being acquired is the only “good” kind of deletion, as I explained in my recent article about Dividend Streaks in Danger.

After the CCC universe expanded to a total of 816 companies at the end of March, that population edged up again to 819 companies in April, which featured 9 new Challengers, 6 deletions, and 5 promotions. The Near Challengers listing also picked up 7 “NEW” notations (in Appendix B on the Notes tab), keeping the number of Near Challengers at 117, same as last month but still well below the record of 281 companies in September 2014. After March’s action saw the average price of CCC stocks slip by 46¢, that figure rose by 68¢ in April and the average “age” of the dividend streaks remained at 13.6 years. Meanwhile, the average yield edged down from 2.65% to 2.61%, and the average of the Most Recent Increases moved from 8.38% from 8.30%.

As always, please use the CCC only as a starting point for more in-depth research. Feel free to leave any suggestions in the Comment area below.

Quick Summary

The Summary tab includes a table comparing the composite numbers from the latest update to those from the previous month and the end of the previous year. Below that is a summary of the latest month’s activity in terms of companies added, deleted, or promoted. That is reflected below:

Quick Summary:

4/28/17

Champions

Contenders

Challengers

Total

No. of Companies

110

227

482

819

Ave. No. of Years

41.2

15.7

6.3

13.6

Average Price

84.78

75.37

59.75

67.44

Average % Yield

2.34

2.63

2.67

2.61

Ave. MR % Increase

5.44

7.12

10.06

8.30

3/31/17

Champions

Contenders

Challengers

Total

No. of Companies

108

229

479

816

Ave. No. of Years

41.5

15.7

6.3

13.6

Average Price

84.46

74.04

59.29

66.76

Average % Yield

2.34

2.66

2.72

2.65

Ave. MR % Increase

5.45

7.27

10.11

8.38

12/30/16

Champions

Contenders

Challengers

Total

No. of Companies

108

227

433

768

Ave. No. of Years

41.3

15.6

6.2

13.9

Average Price

82.84

72.43

58.82

66.22

Average % Yield

2.33

2.64

2.67

2.61

Ave. MR % Increase

6.02

7.47

10.02

8.45

MR = Most Recent

Additions:

Central Pacific Financial Corp. (NYSE:CPF) to Challengers

Comfort Systems USA Inc. (NYSE:FIX) to Challengers

First Federal of Northern Michigan Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ:FFNM) to Challenger

FS Bancorp (NASDAQ:FSBW) to Challengers

InterContinental Hotels Group plc (NYSE:IHG) to Challengers

Life Storage Inc. (NYSE:LSI) to Challengers

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE:NLSN) to Challengers

Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE:RF) to Challengers

Star Gas Partners LP (NYSE:SGU) to Challengers

Deletions:

Allied World Assurance Co. Holdings AG (NYSE:AWH) from Contenders

Cardinal Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:CFNL) from Challengers

CEB Inc. (NYSE:CEB) from Challengers

Enbridge Energy Partners LP (NYSE:EEP) from Contenders

G&K Services Inc. (NASDAQ:GK) from Contenders

Seaspan Corp. (NYSE:SSW) from Challengers

Promotions:

American Water Works (NYSE:AWK) from Challenger to Contender

Franklin Electric Co. from Contender to Champion

Lazard Limited (NYSE:LAZ) from Challenger to Contender

People’s United Financial from Contender to Champion

Quaint Oak Bancorp Inc. (OTCQX:QNTO) from Challenger to Contender

(Table from author; may include underlying data from FinViz.com)

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 price line is in the green area, it suggests possible undervaluation.

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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