Centrica (LSE: CNA) and ITV (LSE: ITV) boost their interim dividends.
The FTSE 100 (UKX), at current levels of around 5,500 points, is on a trailing dividend yield of 3.9%. That's really a pretty decent return, even if the index itself is only going sideways. So it makes a lot of sense to invest in high-yielding shares while the indices are depressed, and take the annual payouts while patiently awaiting the recovery that will surely come.
With that in mind, here's a quick look at three companies from the various FTSE indices that have lifted their dividends this week...
Centrica (LSE: CNA) raised its interim dividend by 8% to 4.62p today, on the release of its first-half results, in line with its practice of paying 30% of the previous year's dividend. Forecasts suggest a full-year dividend yield of 5.2% based on the current share price of 314p.
Revenues for the six months to 30 June were up 4% to £12bn, with adjusted pre-tax profit coming in 14% up, at £767m.
Long-term income investors have done well from Centrica -- its payout has grown by a cumulative 55% since 2006.
Broadcaster and TV producer ITV (LSE: ITV) reported an 11% rise in revenues to £1.28bn from its first half trading, and doubled its first-half dividend to 0.8p per share from 0.4p last year. Adjusted pre-tax profit was recorded at £235m, up 15%, with adjusted earnings per share up by a similar margin to 4.7p.
Although advertising revenues are under increasing pressure -- the BBC's Olympics coverage won't help -- the firm's production division, ITV Studios, enjoyed a 34% rise in revenues.
Full-year dividend yield is forecast at 3.1% based on a 77p share price, but ITV's forecast year-end price-to-earnings ratio stands at an undemanding 8.7, so there's room for recovery there too.
Building materials supplier Travis Perkins (LSE: TPK) told us that interim profits were impacted by the extensive rain we've had so far this summer, reckoning that it knocked around £10m off profits. Overall revenues were up 2.7% to £2.41bn, though like-for-like revenues fell by 0.7%.
Adjusted pre-tax profit fell modestly, by 1.9% to £138m, but the firm was still able to boost its interim dividend by a juicy 23% to 8p per share, and it's well covered by 57.3p in earnings. The full-year dividend forecast is modest at 2.4%, but the shares have done well since the beginning of the year.
An honourable mention
I must give a tip of the hat to SSE (LSE: SSE) today, after the multi-utility's first quarter management statement outlined its dividend policy. While not giving us any hard numbers, the firm stressed its aim of providing dividend increases of 2% more than retail price inflation. With the shares at 1,306p, current forecasts put the March 2013 yield at 6%.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.