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LONDON -- If you want to be eligible for a dividend payment, or if you're watching for possible share-price falls, keeping up with ex-dividend dates can prove beneficial. As long as you hold the shares up to and including that day, you'll get your money.
We have a number of companies from the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 reaching their crucial dates next week. Here are three that will go ex-dividend on Wednesday, June 12:
Vodafone (LSE: VOD ) (NASDAQ: VOD )
Vodafone Group announced a final dividend of 6.92 pence per share on results day on May 21, taking the full-year payment to 10.19 pence. That's a rise of 7% on the previous year, and represents a yield of 5.4% on the recent share price of 190 pence. If you want the cash, be sure to hold your shares until at least June 12.
But if you want continuing dividend rises, Vodafone might not be the one to go for right now, as the telecom giant also revealed a change in dividend policy -- it now merely "aims at least to maintain the ordinary dividend per share at current levels." The yield is still decent, and the shares are not excessively valued on a forward P/E of 12, but it's something to be wary of.
Booker (LSE: BOK )
Booker Group shares peaked at a 12-month gain of more than 55% last week, and though the price has fallen back a little from that to around 125 pence, shareholders have still had a great year.
That was evident in the food wholesaler's full-year results, released on May 23, which showed a 3.5% rise in sales with pre-tax profit up 13%. The result for dividend seekers was a 15% rise in the final dividend to 2.25 pence per share, lifting the year's total by a similar 15% to 2.63 pence per share.
That's a pretty modest yield of 2.1%, though earnings and dividends have risen steadily and there's a yield of 2.9% being forecast for the year to March 2014. But the shares are on a forward P/E of around 23, which is perhaps a little heady.
Intermediate Capital (LSE: ICP )
Shareholders of Intermediate Capital Group are another bunch who have had a pretty good year, seeing their shares rise in value by 80% over the past 12 months, though they did reach the doubling point last month before falling back a bit.
We have a final dividend of 13.7 pence per share to come from the equity finance firm, which released final results on May 22. Adjusted pre-tax profit fell by 25% to 148 million pounds, with adjusted earnings per share dropping 14% to 33.6 pence per share. But the final dividend made for an annual total of 20 pence per share, which was 5% up on 2012.
Finally, 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 that 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.