3 More FTSE 100 Shares For The Week Ahead: Tate & Lyle PLC, BG Group plc And United Utilities Group PLC

We’ll have news from Tate & Lyle PLC (LON: TATE), BG Group plc (LON: BG) and United Utilities Group PLC (LON: UU).

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Thick and fast, that’s how news from the FTSE 100 will be coming next week, as a number of our top companies spread across the sectors bring us various interim updates.

We’ve seen what’s coming our way from some companies already, and here are three more set to update us next week:

Tate & Lyle, Wednesday

Wednesday is AGM day for Tate & Lyle (LSE: TATE), and that will bring with it an interim management statement. It comes after a pretty decent year too, with the firm having reported solid results to 31 March. On a constant currency basis, sales were up 6% to £3.26bn with adjusted pre-tax profit up 4% to £329m. Fully diluted earnings per share (EPS) did drop, by 9% to 58.5p, but the full-year dividend was lifted 5.2% to 26.2p per share.

The share price has put in a near-30% rise over the past 12 months, to 856p today, though it has been slightly higher. And since its 2009 low point, the price has more than three-bagged.

The year to March 2014 is forecast to bring in a 3% rise in EPS and a dividend yield of 3.2%, with the shares on a P/E of 14. In general FTSE terms, that’s a pretty average-looking valuation all round.

BG Group, Friday

Friday is the day for first-half results from BG Group (LSE: BG) (NASDAQOTH: BRGYY.US), and we seem to be in a pretty flat earnings phase for the company. We’ve had a couple of years of single-digit earnings growth, and analysts are forecasting a 6% drop this year — although there’s rebound of 18% expected for 2014 as new developments are expected to come online.

Figures for the first quarter showed production and earnings both down 3%, though operating cash flow was up 3%. But that was in line with expectations, and the firm did manage to achieve a number of its target milestones.

The share price has not had a great 12 months, dropping nearly 7% to today’s 1,205p, but that does put the shares on a forward P/E for the year to December 2014 of about 12.6 — so if BG’s earnings turnaround comes off, the shares could prove to be well-priced now.

United Utilities, Friday

Friday will also bring us a first-quarter update from United Utilities (LSE: UU). Along with the other utilities companies, United has been rewarding shareholders pretty nicely — dividend yields have been around 5% over the past few years, with the year to March 2013 delivering 4.8% after the company recorded an 8% rise in underlying pre-tax profit to £354m with underlying EPS up 10.8% to 39.1p.

And there’s a nice boost expected to next year’s payout, taking the yield up to 5.1% on the current share price of 726p.

In recent years, that share price has been buoyed by dividend investors seeking reliable income in these days of low bond yields, and that gives us a forward P/E of almost 17, which is a little above the FTSE’s log-term average of 14. Still, it does show the value of reliable dividends.

Finally, dividends can add nicely to your investment returns — they can be spent or reinvested according to your needs. Whether investing for income or growth, good old cash is always welcome.

And that’s why I recommend the BRAND-NEW Fool report, “The Motley Fool’s Top Income Share For 2013“, in which our top analysts identify a share that they believe will provide handsome dividend income for years to come.

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

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

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