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3 FTSE 100 Shares Going Ex-Dividend Next Week: Associated British Foods plc, London Stock Exchange Group Plc and National Grid plc

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) looks set to extend its losing streak to four weeks in a row, with this morning’s modest rise of 14 points to 6,650 not enough to counter yesterday’s 58-point fall. The index of top UK shares is down 26 points on the week so far, and while that isn’t a lot to recover, sentiment seems pessimistic.

But if you focus on dividends, you can simply ignore these week-by-week ups and downs — but do be sure to hold on to your shares until they pass their ex-dividend date if you want to be eligible for the cash. Here are three FTSE 100 companies reaching their cut-off day next Wednesday, 4 December:

Associated British Foods

Associated British Foods (LSE: ABF) shareholders have had a great year so far, with their shares up nearly 55% over 12 months to 2,267p.

But that’s not all, as they also have a final dividend of 22.65p per share to come after full-year earnings per share rose 13% to 98.9p. That takes the total annual payment up to 32p, which provides a yield of only 1.4% on today’s price. But it’s a nice extra, and there’s a 7% rise in next year’s dividend currently forecast.

The share price rise has pushed the P/E rating up to 22, which is significantly above the FTSE’s long-term average of 14, so there’s more growth already factored into the price.

London Stock Exchange

There’s an interim dividend to come from the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE: LSE) itself, of 10.1p per share, after the company reported an 8% rise in first-half revenues on 13 November.

That’s a 4% rise on the previous year’s interim payment, and if extended to the full year would result in a 1.9% yield based on today’s 1,621p share price — but the City currently has a little more than that penciled in.

And it comes on top of a share price rise of more than 60% over the past 12 months, as longer-term optimism is returning to stock markets.

National Grid

The best yield of today’s three comes from National Grid (LSE: NG) (NYSE:NGG.US), which will hand out an interim payment of 14.49p per share despite first-half pre-tax profit having fallen back by 7% — but that was considered to be temporary, and did not impact dividend.

National Grid still looks on for a full-year dividend yield of around 5.5%, based on current forecasts and on today’s share price of 775p, with full-year earnings per share expected to drop this year but recover in 2014.

Finally, National Grid is the subject of the "Motley Fool's Top Income Share" special report, in which our top analysts investigate that forecast yield of 5.5% and tell you more about the company's prospects.

If you want their take on it, the report will only be available for a limited period, so click here to get your copy today.

> Alan does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.