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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. So 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 reaching their crucial dates next week. Here are three that will go ex-dividend next Wednesday, June 26.
Compass Group (LSE: CPG )
Catering and support services firm Compass Group announced an interim dividend of 8 pence per share along with first-half results on May 15, and that represented an 11% rise on the previous year. Revenue rose by 4.1% to £8.8 billion, with underlying pre-tax profit up 8.1% to £611 million and earnings per share up 11% to 24.5 pence.
If the second-half dividend is lifted by a similar 11%, we should be looking at a full-year payment of 23.6 pence per share for a yield of 2.8% on the current share price of 845 pence. The forward yield would have been more than 3%, had the share price not risen by 30% over the past 12 months.
NEXT (LSE: NXT )
The same day is final ex-dividend day for high-street clothing chain NEXT. After reporting a 3.1% rise in revenue for the year to January 2013, a 9% rise in underlying pre-tax profit, and a 16.6% boost to underlying EPS, Next declared a final dividend of 74 pence per share.
That takes the full-year payment up 16.7 pence to 105 pence per share and follows Next's policy of lifting its dividend in line with EPS. With the share price currently at 4,605 pence, the total payment represents a yield of 2.3%.
Tate & Lyle (LSE: TATE )
It's a final dividend for Tate & Lyle, too, with a payment of 18.8 pence per share to come. The year to March 31 brought in a 6% rise in sales on a constant-currency basis to £3.3 billion, with adjusted pre-tax profit up 4% to £329 million.
Adjusted EPS rose 5% to 57 pence, allowing the firm to lift its full-year dividend by 5.2% to 26.2 pence per share -- a yield of 3.2% on today's share price of 819 pence. The Tate & Lyle dividend has been raised for three consecutive years now, and forecasts suggest more of the same for this year and next -- but a steadily rising share price has lowered the yield.
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.