Rounding out the list of 19 qualifiers were Exxon Mobil ( XOM), Conoco Phillips ( COP), Lockheed Martin ( LMT), Raytheon ( RTN), Northrop Grumman ( NOC), L-3 Communications ( LLL), CSX ( CSX) and Norfolk Southern ( NSC), Travelers ( TRV), Chubb ( CB), McGraw Hill ( MHP), Becton Dickinson ( BDX) and Darden Restaurants ( DRI).

Not all stock screens that I've devised and used during my career have stood the test of time; sometimes they are just lucky and the luck does not last. We'll have to see if the combination of dividend growth and stock buybacks can indeed stand the test of time.

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

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Jonathan Heller, CFA, is president of KEJ Financial Advisors, his fee-only financial planning company. Jon spent 17 years at Bloomberg Financial Markets in various roles, from 1989 until 2005. He ran Bloomberg's Equity Fundamental Research Department from 1994 until 1998, when he assumed responsibility for Bloomberg's Equity Data Research Department. In 2001, he joined Bloomberg's Publishing group as senior markets editor and writer for Bloomberg Personal Finance Magazine, and an associate editor and contributor for Bloomberg Markets Magazine. In 2005, he joined SEI Investments as director of investment communications within SEI's Investment Management Unit.

Jon is also the founder of the Cheap Stocks Web site, a site dedicated to deep-value investing. He has an undergraduate degree from Grove City College and an MBA from Rider University, where he has also served on the adjunct faculty; he is also a CFA charter holder.

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