The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) fell 15 points to 6,717 by late morning, and following on from a 46-point fall yesterday it’s now down 4 points down on the week so far and looking like it might end its recent winning streak.
But in dividend terms, it still looks like we’re on for an average forward yield of 3.1%, which provides a nice buffer against share price volatility in low-interest times.
Which top companies helped boost the FTSE’s returns this week? Here are three that are paying out more cash.
BP (LSE: BP) (NYSE: BP.US) lifted its third-quarter dividend by 5.6% to 9.5 cents (6p) per share on Tuesday. The boost was made possible by a 36% rise in underlying replacement-cost profit for the period, to $5,017m, with a per-share rise of 35% to 26.35 cents. That soundly beat the expectations of analysts, and led to a 25.5p (5.6%) share price rise on the day to 477.5p — it’s up further to 485p today, and up about 8% over the past 12 months.
If BP’s full-year dividend is lifted by the same percentage, we’ll see a 4.6% yield on today’s share price.
Despite revenue falling 1% to £8,940m, BT Group (LSE: BT-A) managed to achieve a a 3% rise in adjusted earnings per share to 11.9p in its first six months, as reported on Thursday. That allowed the telecoms giant to lift its interim dividend by 13% to 3.4p per share, suggesting a yield of 2.6% on the current price of 378p if the same rise is repeated at year-end — though analysts are currently forecasting more at 2.8%.
The launch of BT Sport was one of the highlights of the period, with chief executive Gavin Patterson saying “More than two million of our customers are signed up to it and our wholesale contract with Virgin Media means it is available to around four million homes in total“.
BT shares are now up more then 60% over 12 months.
Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) shocked the market on Thursday with a 32% crash in Q3 current-cost-of-supplies earnings (excluding some exceptionals) to $4,457m. The period suffered from higher costs and reduced volumes, but there were also other issues causing headaches as chief executive Peter Voser told us “We are facing headwinds from weak industry refining margins, and the security situation in Nigeria, which continue to erode the near term outlook“.
But despite basic earnings per share also being down 32% to 71 cents, Shell raised its dividend by 5% to 45 cents per share, and with the shares trading at 2,182p it looks to be on for a full-year yield of around 5%.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.