If you want to be eligible for a dividend payment, or if you’re watching for possible share price falls, keeping up with ex-dividend dates can prove beneficial — as long as you hold the shares up to and including that day, you’ll get your money.
We have just one company in the FTSE 100 reaching that crucial date next week, together with a few from the FTSE 250. Here are three that will go ex-dividend next Wednesday, 31 July:
When it comes to dividends, few are more keenly watched that those from utilities companies, which are a huge attraction to income investors in these low-interest days. Electricity supplier SSE (LSE: SSE) is one of them, with a final dividend of 59p per share to come.
That takes the full-year dividend to 84.2p per share, for a yield of 5.2% on the current share price of 1,611p. And that’s not bad at all — well ahead of the FTSE average of around 3.2%, and more reliable than most. In fact, SSE has been regularly boosting its annual payout along with earnings every year, and that looks set to continue.
It’s also full-year dividend time for Investec (LSE: INVP). The specialist banker and investment manager announced a final dividend of 10p per share to take its total payout for the year to 18p, up 5.9% on the previous year. The dividend is more than twice covered, which is an improvement on the previous year’s cover which came in at just under two.
With the share price currently standing at 459p, that 18p-per-share payment represents a yield of 3.9%, which is decent. And with a couple of years of earnings growth forecast, it looks like there will be further dividend rises to come.
Our third for next week is Fenner (LSE: FENR), the maker of specialist reinforced polymers. This time it’s a first-half dividend, of 3.75p per share. That represents a lift of 7% over the previous year’s interim of 3.5p. Although underlying pre-tax profit fell by 26%, Fenner said it is confident of a return to growth for 2013-14, and told us the dividend rise was a reflection of confidence in earnings prospects.
It’s too early to guess at Fenner’s final dividend, but a similar 7% boost would take it to 11.2p — with the shares currently changing hands at 346p, that would provide a 3.2% yield.
Finally, dividends like these 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.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.