Updated from 8:07 a.m. EDT, March 17

If a stock has raised its dividend regularly over many years, that means it's a good buy, right?

Not necessarily. According to RealMoney's Gary Dvorchak, long-term dividend performance is not what matters right now, " since those records were built mostly during good times." Rather, he likes the companies that are currently raising dividends, in the midst of a bad recession.

Every week, Stockpickr reviews the recent dividend declarations and compiles a portfolio of the top dividend-raisers for the previous week. This week's portfolio includes such stocks as Piedmont Natural Gas ( PNY), yielding 4.5%, and Franklin Resources ( BEN), yielding 1.8%.

To read more, visit Stockpickr.com.

Who's on Stockpickr Answers? Tim Melvin will be on Stockpickr Answers on March 18 to respond to investing and trading questions posed by members of the Stockpickr community. Not a member? Join the Stockpickr community today -- free.

Stockpickr is a wholly owned subsidiary of TheStreet.com.

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