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Mid-cap energy transmission company ITC ( ITC) is the last name we're looking at today. ITC is an energy infrastructure firm that provides more than 25,000 megawatts of transmission capacity to its customers in the Midwest.

Historically, ITC has been a short target, in part because of the fact that energy infrastructure is a costly business to upkeep. Even though there's still plenty of short interest, the weak-handed bets have already been shaken out of shares.

ITC has big net margins, in part because of its business structure. The firm charges tariffs to power companies for the privileges of using its network. Any given quarter, barring any big one-time capital expenditures, a big chunk of those tariffs gets passed directly onto ITC's bottom line.

Another result is cash. Last year, the firm generated more than $380 million from its operations, well above the level ITC needs to pay off debt and dividends. Utilities have traditionally been a bastion of safety for income investors, and even though ITC's business is different than a run of the mill regulated utility, its payouts are no different. I'm expecting a dividend hike in the next quarter.

To see these dividend plays in action, check out the Potential Dividend Hikes portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Jonas Elmerraji is the editor and portfolio manager of the Rhino Stock Report, a free investment advisory that returned 15% in 2008. He is a contributor to numerous financial outlets, including Forbes and Investopedia, and has been featured in Investor's Business Daily, in Consumer's Digest and on

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