The Weir Group PLC (LON: WEIR), Provident Financial plc (LON: PFG) and Bovis Homes Group plc (LON: BVS) all increase their payouts.
The FTSE 100 regained 23 points to 6,349 by mid-afternoon, and the UK's top tier index is now 14 points up on the week despite Tuesday's 85-point slump in response to the lack of any result from the Italian election.
But many investors don't pay much attention to share prices, instead preferring to look for income to beat the average FTSE dividend of around 3%. Here are three companies that raised their annual payouts this week:
Bovis Homes Group (LSE: BVS) kicked off the week on Monday with an 80% boost to its full-year dividend, to 9p per share. With the shares currently trading at 643.5p, that's a yield of only 1.4%, but since dividends were scrapped in the crunch year of 2009, they've been gradually coming back as the whole sector recovers.
If current forecasts prove accurate, we should see the Bovis dividend increase by more than 30% for 2013, with the shares on a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just under 17 -- but current 2014 forecasts drop that to 13.
On Tuesday, consumer credit firm Provident Financial (LSE: PFG) raised its full-year dividend by 12% to 77.2p per share, giving a yield of 5.3% on the current 1,467p share price. Perhaps surprisingly, after results that also included an earnings per share rise of 13.8% to 102p, the shares fell on the day by 56p to 1,468p.
The 2012 dividend was covered 1.32 times by earnings, and analysts are currently forecasting a further 8% rise in Provident's annual payout for 2013, with 7.6% rise to follow in 2014.
Engineering services firm Weir Group (LSE: WEIR) lifted its full-year dividend by 15% on Wednesday, to 38p per share. That's a modest yield of 1.6% based on today's share price of 2,353p, but it does represent the latest in a series of year-on-year dividend increases from the company, and it was covered nearly fourfold by earnings per share.
And there should be more to come, after chief executive Keith Cochrane told us that "alongside substantially higher cash generation, the Group plans the eighth consecutive year of double digit dividend growth" in 2013.
Finally, dividend rises like these three are always welcome, and companies that manage steady payouts form the cornerstones of many a portfolio -- whether investing for income or growth, good old cash is always welcome.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.