LONDON -- It really looks like the optimism has disappeared from the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) now. Despite recovering 54 points on Friday, the U.K.'s top index still ended the week 99 points down at 6,552. That's five losing weeks in a row, and we could easily see the FTSE closer to 6,000 than 6,500 by year-end at this rate.
Sage Group (LSE:SGE)
Business software developer Sage Group reported a 12% rise in full-year underlying earnings per share, and lifted its dividend 6% to 11.32 pence. It was rewarded with a 24 pence (6.9%) share price spike to 372 pence -- the shares are now up more than 25% over the past 12 months.
CEO Guy Berruyer said, "We remain confident of achieving our target of 6% organic revenue growth in 2015, and anticipate further progress during the year ahead."
Smith & Nephew (LSE:SN)
Smith & Nephew has seen its price climbing steadily as it continues with its share buyback spree -- the orthopedics specialist snapped up a further 690,000 shares this week at prices ranging between 812.5 pence and 845 pence. The firm also announced the appointment of a new chairman, Roberto Quarta.
The price ended the week 30.5 pence (3.7%) up at 846 pence.
Standard Chartered (LSE:STAN)
The U.K.-based bank that had largely avoided the crash warned on Wednesday of "difficult market conditions," especially in its Financial Markets business, and saw its stock dip 117.5 pence (8.1%) to 1,331 pence over the week.
Over the past three years the Standard Chartered price has slumped 27%, while the banks bailed out with taxpayers' money have been soaring -- Lloyds Banking Group is up more than 150% over the same period.
It was a bad week for those who delve for the shiny things of the Earth, with silver and gold miner Fresnillo falling 76 pence (9.1%) to 757 pence -- the price is now down more than 60% over 12 months.
Africa-based gold miner Randgold Resources also had a bad week, losing 307 pence to 4,039 pence (7%), taking the price down nearly 40% in a year.
Dividends form a core part of many a successful long-term portfolio. Whether you need that income to live on, or want to reinvest it for the long term, there's nothing wrong with collecting robust and attractive payouts. And that's what the Fool's top U.K. analysts have been looking for.
The Motley Fool is helping Britain invest. Better. And with the economy so uncertain, we're urging everyone to read "10 Steps to Making a Million in the Market" -- it may transform your wealth. Click here now to request your free, no-obligation copy.
Further Motley Fool investment opportunities:
Alan Oscroft has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Smith & Nephew and Standard Chartered. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.