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3 FTSE Dividends Lifted This Week: Hargreaves Lansdown PLC, Dechra Pharmaceuticals plc And Staffline Group Plc

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is limping along today, up 9 points to 6,523 by late morning. With the focus on US jobs data, due later today, the index of top UK stocks looks set to end its four-week losing streak, standing 110 points up on the week so far.

But even in bearish times, dividends can keep shareholders going until the bulls return, and the FTSE is offering a decent 3.2% average forward yield these days. Here are there companies from the various indices that have lifted their dividends this week:

Dechra Pharmaceuticals

Dechra Pharmaceuticals (LSE: DPH) released a decent set of  final results on Tuesday, reporting a year of restructuring, with chief executive Ian Page saying of the outcome that “Dechra is now entirely focused on developing, manufacturing and marketing high margin, cash generative specialist veterinary pharmaceuticals and related products for global markets“.

With the firm’s underlying earnings per share (EPS) up 20% to 38.7p, the board saw fit to propose a final dividend of 9.66p per share to take the full-year payment up 14% to 14p per share. On a share price of 698p, that’s a relatively low yield of 2%, but the dividend has been rising steadily year-on-year.

Hargreaves Lansdown

Wednesday brought full-year results from Hargreaves Lansdown (LSE: HL), resulting in a final dividend of 14.38p per share plus a special dividend of 8.91p per share. Added to the interim payment, that gave a 31% lift to the firm’s total dividend to 29.59p per share. On today’s share price of 1,025p, it provides a modest yield of 2.9%, but we have seen earnings and dividends rising strongly over the past few years.

And with total assets under administration up 38% to £36.4bn and pre-tax profit up 28% to £195.2m, there may be quite a bit more to come. Analysts are currently forecasting a 14% rise in EPS next year, though that does put the shares on a fairly lofty P/E of over 28.

Staffline

It was interim results time for recruitment firm Staffline Group (LSE: STAF) on Wednesday, and things looked pretty good, with revenues up 14% to £187.2m and underlying pre-tax profit up 32% to £4.9m. The company’s interim dividend was increased by 22.6% to 3.8p per share, which suggests the current consensus for a 9.5p total dividend might be a bit conservative — it would provide a yield of only 1.8%.

While dividends are always welcome, the big reward for Staffline shareholders this year has come in the form of a 150% share price rise. And at 578p, we’re still looking at an undemanding forward P/E of only around 13.5.

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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.