Tullett Prebon Lifts Dividend By 2% to Yield 6.3%

LONDON -- The shares of Tullett Prebon  (LSE: TLPR  )  climbed 7p to 267p during early London trade this morning as investors evaluated the company's 6.3% dividend income.

The FTSE 250 mid-cap, which operates as an intermediary within the wholesale financial markets, today upped its annual dividend by 2% to 16.85 pence per share.

The dividend increase accompanied 2012 results that showed revenue down 7% to 851 million pounds and underlying operating profits down 15% to 126 million pounds. The adjusted figures excluded legal charges of 12 million pounds, restructuring costs of 15 million pounds and goodwill write-offs of 123 million pounds.

Terry Smith, Tullett Prebon's chief executive, said:

"The level of activity in financial markets was subdued throughout 2012, particularly during the second half, reflecting persistently low volatility despite the underlying fragility of the world economy. Our customers are operating in a more onerous regulatory environment and there is considerable uncertainty over the impact of new regulations covering the over-the-counter markets."

Smith added that he expected activity in the wider financial markets would continue to be subdued during 2013, and admitted sales during January and February were 5% lower than during the same months of last year.

Based on today's figures, Tullett Prebon is valued at less than 7 times profits. Furthermore, the adjusted earnings figure covers that large dividend more than twice. However, earnings have dropped by 20% during the last three years, and prior to today, City experts had predicted a further reduction during 2013.

Of course, whether the low P/E rating, that juicy yield and the prospects for intermediaries within the wholesale financial markets all combine to make Tullett Prebon a buy or a sell remains your decision.

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