Dividend hikes happen at different times for different companies and there is really no set schedule for when a company decides to do it. That being said, a company will often increase its dividend during a specific quarter of each year when they announce their quarterly financials (i.e. 3rd quarter financial results). After you have been in invested in a company for a few years, you should start to see the pattern and learn to recognize when the next dividend increase is coming. Unfortunately I have been unable to find one central repository of information that provides details on when each company has increased their dividends in the past. However, there are ways to track this information down – it takes a bit of time but it can be done.
The first place that I look for information on various companies dividend increases is by reading a forum topic that is dedicated to the topic of dividend hikes. Located in the forum section of the Financial Web Ring, which I am apart of, members post on which company has recently raised their dividends and by how much. If you are looking for investment ideas, this can be a good place to look. In addition, if you hold shares in companies that consistently raise their dividend then often the forum is where the news appears. It saves having to search through individual press releases. The down side, is that obviously not every stock is covered.
The second place to see dividend hikes is by going to a company’s website. In the Investor Relations section, there will often be a portion of the site dedicated to the company’s dividend payments. What you want to attempt to find is the “Dividend History for Common Shares” link as that will show you what the company has paid out in dividends in the past few years. An example can be found at the Royal Bank website.
In this screen shot, it is very apparent that for the past three years the Royal Bank has increased its dividend in the 4th quarter of the year. The year before that (not shown) the company increased the dividend in the 1st quarter, proving that companies do not always raise dividends at the same time each year.
As you can see, it is hard to predict with a real certain level of accuracy when a company is going to increase its dividend. However, by using the Financial Web Ring forum and company websites you can at least keep track of the dividend increases.