LONDON: We're firmly into reporting season for the quarter ending March 31, and we'll be learning how the three months went for a number of important FTSE 100 companies. We took a look yesterday at three companies in the news next week, and here are three more:
Legal & General
Thursday will bring us a first-quarter update from Legal & General Group (LSE:LGEN), and if shareholders get another year like last year, they'll be in for a treat. The share price has gained 40% over the past 12 months, to 167 pence, as the whole insurance sector has recovered.
Legal & General reported a 12% rise in earnings per share, or EPS, for the year to December 2012, and paid a full-year dividend of 7.65 pence per share, which represented a yield of 5.3% on the end-of-year share price. In fact, even with a small dip in 2009, the life insurer has been paying decent dividends all along.
There's a rise in the dividend of around 10% currently forecast for this year, which would provide a 5% yield on the current share price. And even after the past year's appreciation, the shares are still on a prospective price-to-earnings, or PE, ratio of a fairly modest 11.
British Sky Broadcasting
Also on Thursday, we should get third-quarter figures from British Sky Broadcasting Group (LSE:SKY), and that's another company that's had a good year -- this time, there's been a gain of a little under 30% over 12 months.
Results for the six months to December showed a 5% rise in revenue to 3.36 billion pounds, leading to an 18% jump in adjusted EPS to 24 pence per share. And that allowed the TV and telecoms provider to lift its interim dividend by 20%, to 9.2 pence per share.
A similar rise in the company's final dividend would see a full-year payment of around 30 pence, for a yield of 3.5% on the current share price of 850 pence. Current earnings forecasts suggest a 12% rise, to 57 pence per share, putting the shares on a P/E of 15.
Royal Bank of Scotland
Then, on Friday, it will be first-quarter time for Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LSE:NWG)(NYSE:NWG). Although the share price ended 2012 on a high, it has fallen back since the start of 2013 to today's 300 pence -- that's still a rise of around 25% since this time last year, but the price did hit a rise of more than 50% at one point.
If current City forecasts come true, the bailed-out bank should be back in profit this year, with around 1.5 billion pounds coming in. Earnings forecasts indicate EPS of 24 pence per share -- but individual broker forecasts are all over the place, so it's all looking pretty much like random guesswork at the moment.
Finally, dividends can add nicely to your investment returns -- they can be spent or reinvested according to your needs. Whether 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.