LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) recovered 44 points today to reach 6,336 following yesterday's 104-point plunge. Today the index was lifted mainly by rising mining shares as commodities prices ease upwards.
The average dividend yield of the FSTE 100 is currently about 3%, so if we find companies that pay more than that or are raising their dividends, they could be worth a closer look. We look at three companies that have lifted their payouts this week.
Travis Perkins (LSE:TPK)
On Wednesday Travis Perkins lifted its full-year dividend by a whopping 25% to 25 pence per share, and it was still covered 3.8 times by adjusted earnings per share of 95.1 pence. The rest of the results showed revenue up 1.4% to 4.8 billion pounds and adjusted operating profit up 4.3% to 327 million pounds.
The share price responded by falling 2.8% on the day and then dropping a further 1.6% to 1,251 pence on Thursday. But today it took back 9 pence, with the dividend representing a yield of 2%.
BAE Systems (LSE:BA) (OTC:BAESY)
BAE Systems, a constituent of the Fool's Beginners' Portfolio, released full-year results on Thursday, and they included a welcome 3.7% rise in the annual dividend to 19.5 pence. On the current share price of 350 pence, that's an attractive yield of 5.6%. There was a 7% fall in sales to $17.8 billion, but operating profit was up 3.7% to $1.64 billion.
BAE has maintained its record of lifting its dividend each year throughout the recession, and further increases for the next two years are forecast. The shares are currently on a forward P/E of only eight.
On Thursday we also had results from Informa, the knowledge, events, and academic-services specialist. Highlights included record adjusted earnings per share of 40.7 pence, up 7.7% on the 2011 figure, though revenue was broadly flat. Adjusted pre-tax profit rose 7.3% to 317.4 million pounds.
But what we're really interested in here is Informa's 10.1% rise in its full-year dividend to 18.5 pence. With the shares currently changing hands for 499 pence, that's a yield of 3.7%, which isn't bad -- and it follows Informa's record of steady year-on-year dividend rises.
Dividend rises like these three are always welcome, and companies that manage steady payouts form the cornerstones of many a portfolio. 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.