3 FTSE Shares Going Ex-Dividend Next Week: Aggreko plc, BHP Billiton plc And IMI plc

Ex-dividend day for Aggreko plc (LON: AGK), BHP Billiton plc (LON: BLT) and IMI plc (LON: IMI) approaches.

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Ex-dividend date is an important one if you want to be eligible for a dividend payment — as long as you hold the shares up to and including that day, you’ll get your money. Alternatively, sometimes share prices fall further than expected when the day comes around, and if you’re careful you can sometimes pick up a bargain.

Here are three FTSE companies reaching that key date next Wednesday, 4 September:

Aggreko

It’s interim ex-dividend time for Aggreko (LSE: AGK), and there’s a payment of 9.11p per share up for grabs — a share would cost you 1,558p right now, but that’s more than 30% less than a year ago. First-half pre-tax profit for the supplier of temporary power equipment fell 2% to £146m, with earnings per share (EPS) down 4% to 39.94p. That was a little below expectations.

But the dividend was raised by 10% and was more than adequately covered by earnings, though a similar hike to the final payment would result in a yield of only around 1.7%, with the shares on a forward P/E of 17.

BHP Billiton

It’s a final dividend payment to come from BHP Billiton (LSE: BLT) (NYSE: BBL.US), of 59 cents (38p) per share, to take the miner’s total for the year to 116 cents (75p). That provides a yield of 4% on the current share price of 1,873p, which isn’t at all bad. Revenue and profits were down across the board due to the falls in commodities prices over the company’s year, but the firm did report productivity gains as it raised its dividend by 4%.

And despite the cyclical nature of the business and of profits, BHP Billiton has been lifting its dividend steadily and has been keeping it well enough covered by earnings — this year’s was more than twice covered.

IMI

Engineer IMI (LSE: IMI) is our third for today, after having raised its first-half dividend by 8% to 12.8p per share. That came after half-time results showed a 5% rise in operating profit and a 4% rise in adjusted EPS to 39.6p per share — covering the dividend more than three times.

IMI is another company that has kept its dividend rising nicely year after year, though with the shares having soared by around 70% over the past 12 months to 1,421p, an 8% rise in the final dividend would provide a yield of a modest 2.5%. With single-digit EPS rises forecast for this year and next, the shares are on a forward P/E of 16.5, falling to 15.

Finally, do you like having your investment returns boosted by dividends like these? Dividends can be spent or reinvested according to your needs — whether you’re 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. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Aggreko.

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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