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5 Stocks That Want to Pay You More This Quarter

Tickers in this article: D DD GS QCOM WLP

BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Don't just chase dividends -- ambush them.

With earnings season still in full swing right now, there are some big opportunities to step in front of dividend hikes in the first quarter. That's why we're zooming in on five companies that look primed to hike their dividends in the near-term.

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In other words, these five firms are getting ready to boost dividends; they just don't know it yet.

In the past few months we've had some stellar success in finding future dividend hikes just by zeroing in on a few key factors. Now we'll look at our crystal ball and try to do it again.

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.

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Without further ado, here's a look at five stocks that could be about to increase their dividend payments in the next quarter. Qualcomm

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Wireless technology firm Qualcomm (QCOM) is riding the quick growth of the mobile device market as smartphones, tablets, and subnotebook computers. Qualcomm is best known as a wireless chipmaker, producing everything from processors to wireless communications cards, but it's also a major a major tech IP licensor. The firm's patents effectively mean that every handset maker in the world has to pay Qualcomm royalties if they want their phones to operate on 3G and 4G networks.

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That royalty income angle makes QCOM an ideal dividend payer. Right now, the firm pays out a 25-cent quarterly dividend for a 1.6% yield.

Mobile phones have been advancing rapidly in recent years, and handset makers have enjoyed breakneck volume as consumers switched to smartphones and upgraded older units. And every phone sale generates cash for Qualcomm, even if the firm's chips aren't used. Even down the road, that isn't likely to change as handset makers need to retain backward compatibility to sell phones.

Mobile chips are still the biggest part of QCOM's revenues; the firm's offerings are critical components in phones such as the Samsung Galaxy line and the iPhone 5. Qualcomm's new Snapdragon processor stands to be the jewel in the firm's crown, offering more processing power for OEMs and more revenues per chip for QCOM.