LONDON -- It's the middle of results season, and each week we have more companies going ex-dividend. That's of interest to those who want to get the dividend, of course, as you'd need to buy the shares before the ex-dividend date. But it's also a good day for those looking for possible bargains, should the price dip too far once the shares no longer come with a dividend attached.
Here are three FTSE 100 companies going ex-dividend in the week commencing March 11.
British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS ) (NYSEMKT: BTI )
British American Tobacco shares will go ex-dividend on March 13, and a final dividend of 92.7 pence per share will be paid on May 8 (provided it's approved at the company's annual general meeting on April 25). The full-year payout amounts to 134.9 pence per share for a yield of 3.8%, based on the current share price of 3,555 pence.
Even if you don't like the firm's products, you have to like the cash it throws off: The shares have been steadily paying a dividend of more than 4% per year, and this year's has only dipped below that yield due to a strong share-price rise since last week's results.
Land Securities (LSE: LAND )
On the same day, Land Securities Group will go ex-dividend after a third-quarter dividend of 7.4 pence was announced on Jan. 23. The dividend will be paid on April 17, with shareholders able to opt for a scrip dividend in place of cash -- the final date to make your choice is March 18.
This marks the third quarterly dividend of 7.4 pence so far this year, though the current analyst consensus suggests that slightly more will be paid for the final quarter, giving a total yield of about 3.6% on the current share price of 842 pence.
Hargreaves Lansdown (LSE: HL )
The third of our FTSE 100 companies going ex-dividend next Wednesday is Hargreaves Lansdown. On Feb. 6, the broker and investment services company announced an interim dividend of 6.3 pence per share, to be paid on April 11.
Hargreaves Lansdown really has been a good investment for those seeking dividends (not to mention that its share price has increased 600% since 2009). From a 2008 full-year payout of 5.49 pence per share, the dividend has nearly tripled to 2012's 15.75 pence. And forecasts for the year to June 2013 suggest a further rise to more than 25 pence per share.
Dividends like these can add nicely to your investment returns -- they 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 they believe will provide handsome dividend income for years to come. But it will only be available for a limited period, so click here to get your copy today.