) -- That's one way to end a quarter! The
push to new all-time highs last Thursday marked the final trading session of the first quarter of 2013, a three-month span that's seen the big index climb 10%. Now investors are left wondering what to expect for the second quarter.
The early indications point to more of the same.
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From both a technical and fundamental perspective, this market has been making orderly moves in 2013. And while the 10% ascent in the S&P's price is impressive, it's only part of the returns that investors have been putting away this calendar year -- don't forget about the dividends either. Dividends have contributed a material chunk of Mr. Market's upside this year, and with interest rates scraping the bottom of the barrel, they're more important than ever.
Over the course of this next quarter, it's going to be crucial to keep looking ahead for the companies most likely to dish out dividend hikes. In the past few months we've had some stellar success in finding future dividend increases just by zeroing in on a few key factors. Now we'll look at our crystal ball and try to do it again.
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For our purposes, that "crystal ball" is composed of a few factors: namely a solid balance sheet, a low payout ratio and a history of dividend hikes. While those items don't guarantee dividend announcements in the next month or three, they do dramatically increase the odds that management will hike their cash payouts, especially as investors start to get antsy about whether or not 2013's rally will be able to hang on.
Without further ado, here's a look at
five stocks that could be about to increase their dividend payments
in the next quarter.
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