LONDON -- You probably already know that many shares within the FTSE indexes can offer decent incomes when compared to the interest received from a savings account. Indeed, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE ) index, at 5,489, now offers a trailing 3.9% dividend yield -- not bad, and somewhat higher than the 2.9% on offer when the index reached 6,091 in February last year.
But the global financial crisis, coupled with ongoing troubles in the eurozone and fears of a Chinese growth slowdown, has pushed the FTSE 100 lower. Investors are clearly concerned that dividends will start to dry up. But the index is only an average, and some sectors are doing well and raising dividends. If you want to uncover the sectors identified by Motley Fool analysts as presenting the best value in these troubled times, please help yourself to a copy of "Top Sectors for 2012" while it's still free.
Let's look at three companies from various FTSE indexes that have announced higher dividends today.
DS Smith (LSE: SMDS.L ) , the paper- and plastic-packaging manufacturer, rewarded its loyal investors with a massive 31% dividend increase on the day of its annual results, which saw pretax profit rise by 44% to 110 million pounds, up from 76.7 million pounds the previous year. Underlying earnings per share, including continuing operations but before exceptionals, were boosted by 28% to 12.8 pence. Speaking of its performance, the firm said its focus on return on capital "underpins the sustainability of both our investment strategy and our dividend policy" -- and it's hard to argue with that.
Smith's shares climbed 0.4% to 137.5 pence, which equates to a 1.3 billion pound market cap and a yield of 4.3%, based on the new 5.9 pence-per-share payout.
Pub manager and brewer Greene King (LSE: GNK.L ) also released its full-year results today, with a nice 7.4% dividend rise announced.
Even in these tough economic times, the company saw revenue up 9.4% to 1.14 billion pounds, leading to a pre-exceptional pretax rise of 8.6% to 152 million pounds, with adjusted EPS rising by 10% to 53 pence. Good margins and a year of strong cash-generation allowed the firm to up its dividend to 21.3 pence per share, which represents a yield of 4% on the current share price of 531 pence. That price is marginally down on the day -- just 0.5 pence for a negligible 0.1% fall, valuing the company at 1.2 billion pounds.
The last of our trio today is Photo-Me International (LSE: PHTM.L ) , the maker of photo booths and all manner of digital-image processing equipment. And the occasion, again, was the release of full-year results. This time, although we saw a fall in turnover by 5.4% to 208 million pounds, it produced an 11.9% rise in pretax profit to 20 million pounds and fed through to an EPS rise of 5.6% to 3.95 pence.
A hefty 25% boost in year-end net cash to 51.8 million pounds helped the firm raise its dividend by 25% to 2.5 pence per share. On the current share price of 41.4 pence, that's a substantial yield of 6%. The company is currently valued at a shade short of 150 million pounds.
Finally, if you're in the market for other FTSE shares with resilient dividends, look no further than "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor." In this free report, we've analyzed the 20 billion pound portfolio of legendary fund manager Neil Woodford. Click here now to discover his favorite companies with high dividends and good growth potential. But hurry -- the report is free for a limited time only.
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