The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is putting in an mildly upbeat Friday, gaining 17 points to 6,593 by late morning to take it up 106 points on the week so far. Over the whole period of the US budget drama, the index of top UK shares is modestly up, showing the pointlessness of the day-to-day panics we’ve been seeing.
One way to minimize the gloom of those panics, of course, is to think of dividends instead of share prices. Here are three from the FTSE indices that would have helped you with that focus this week:
Bellway (LSE: BWY), along with the UK’s other housebuilders, has seen its shares soar recently to a 12-month gain of more than 50%. And investors got a further boost on Tuesday in the shape of a 50% dividend increase.
For the year ended 31 July 2013, shareholders are to receive a total payment of 30p per share for a yield of 2% on the current 1,506p share price. That comes after revenue grew by 10.6%, pre-tax profit soared by 33.8%, and earnings per share climbed 36.3% to 89.3p.
Over the year, the company sold 8.2% more homes to reach a total of 5,652, with an average selling price up 3.4% at £193,025.
Wholesaler Booker Group (LSE: BOK) brought us interim results on Thursday, and they included an 18% boost to the first-half dividend to 0.45p per share. That’s not much at this stage, but the full-year payment should be heavily-weighted towards the second half, and there’s a total of 3p per share being forecast. With the shares at 143p, that would yield 2.2%.
Booker recorded a 0.25p rise in underlying earnings per share (EPS) to 2.73p, after pre-exceptional pre-tax profit climbed 17% to £58.1m.
The shares are on a perhaps heady forward P/E of 26 now, but Booker has delivered strong EPS rises for the past five years and has two more years of double-digit gains currently forecast.
Smiths News (LSE: NWS) is another that has enjoyed a 50% share price rise over the past year, and on Wednesday the firm added a 9.3p-per-share dividend for a rise of 8.1% on last year’s.
The firm reported “revenue growth despite challenging market conditions“, and recorded an 11.6% rise in pre-tax profit with free cash flow up 19.8% to £32.6m.
Despite the share price performance, we’re still looking at a P/E based on forecasts of a modest 9.6%, with a full-year dividend yield of 5.1% predicted.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Booker Group.