LONDON -- The FTSE 100 is creeping back further today, up 0.25% to 6,342 by 7:50 a.m. EST. The Italian political crisis was days ago now, and it seems to have been conveniently forgotten as short-term thinking once again comes to the fore.
With the FTSE up only modestly, it's not hard for individual companies to beat it. Here are two achieving that feat today.
British American Tobacco
British American Tobacco shares have had a reasonable year, and today they've gained 0.3% reach 3,428 pence after the company released better-than-expected results for the full year. Although stick volumes were down by 1.6%, revenue rose by 4% to 16 billion pounds, feeding through to a bottom-line basic earnings-per-share rise of 26% to 198.1 pence.
The dividend is to be lifted by 7% to 134.9 pence per share for a 4% yield. Some will be unwilling to invest in a tobacco company for ethical reasons, but there's no denying that it's a profitable business.
Howden Joinery Group shares are up 75% over the past 12 months, having gained 9.2% this morning to reach 208 pence after the firm delivered full-year results. Total revenue rose by 3.9% to 887 million pounds, with pre-tax profit up 1% to 112 million pounds.
A full-year dividend of 3 pence was announced, up from last year's start of 0.5 pence, to give a yield of 1.5% on the current share price. Going forward, the company intends to offer a dividend with between 2.5 and 3.5 times cover, with one-third of the previous year's dividend paid as an interim the following year.
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