When I analyse dividend paying companies, I always look for strong competitive positions. This is because a company in a strong competitive position might be able to enjoy rising profits for several decades. As a result, it might be able to boast a long streak of regular dividend increases. However, changes in technology can jeopardize a company’s economic moat. This could mean that the company might be unable to not only afford to keep raising dividends. In addition, such companies might find themselves in a precarious position, where the dividend has to be sacrificed, in order to maintain the business.