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Do Bumper Dividends Make Taylor Wimpey plc, Direct Line Insurance Group PLC & Paddy Power Plc A Buy?

Company results are coming thick and fast at the moment, and it’s not all good news.

However, three firms that are doing well are Taylor Wimpey (LSE: TW) Direct Line Insurance Group (LSE: DLG) and Paddy Power (LSE: PAP), all of which announced big dividend increases on Tuesday morning.

Taylor Wimpey

It’s no secret that housebuilders are doing well at the moment. The latest to report is Taylor Wimpey, where operating profits rose by 54% to £480m in 2014.

Shareholders will enjoy an increased share of this strong performance, as the firm has increased its ordinary dividend for 2014 to 1.56p, a 126% increase on 2013’s payout of 0.69p.

In addition, Taylor Wimpey paid a special dividend of 1.54p in 2014, taking the total payout for 2014 to 3.1p.

If you’re not a shareholder already, it may not be too late to get on board — the latest City forecasts suggest that Taylor Wimpey’s total dividend payout could rise by almost 200%, to 9p, in 2015, giving a juicy prospective yield of 6.1%!

Paddy Power

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power appears to be on a strong run. Earnings per share rose by 18% in 2014, while pre-tax profits rose by 21% to a record €167m.

The firm’s net cash balance rose from €229m to €285m in 2014, and Paddy Power has now decided to return some of this surplus cash to shareholders.

In addition to a 13% increase in the firm’s regular dividend, which will rise to €1.52 per share, Paddy Power is proposing a cash return of €8 per share for shareholders, funded by a mixture of net cash and new debt.

Although I’d prefer to see Paddy Power using net cash only to fund shareholder returns, investors welcomed this news, sending shares in the bookmaker up by almost 10%.

Direct Line

Like several of its motor insurance peers, Direct Line has got into the habit of paying a special dividend each year.

On Tuesday, the firm announced that it would pay a final dividend of 8.8p and a second special dividend of 4p per share in respect of 2014, taking the total payout for 2014 to 27.2p, 32% more than in 2013.

Direct Line’s generous payouts give the firm’s shares a trailing yield of more than 8%, making them a potentially attractive buy — if you believe the firm can maintain this level of payout in 2015.

For income, my choice would be Direct Line -- but before making a final decision I would urge you to consider the five golden rules for dividend investors in this report.

These rules have been devised by the Motley Fool's income experts to help you avoid costly losses and dividend disasters.

To find out whether Paddy Power, Direct Line and Taylor Wimpey pass with flying colours, download your copy of "How To Create Dividends For Life" today.

It's free and without obligation -- just click here now.

Roland Head has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.