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Friday Email: 13 June 2014

Every Friday morning our lead analyst Mark Riding sends out his weekly run-down and upcoming events in the investor calendar, like this one:

The FTSE 100 has had a fairly flat week so far especially if the early indicators this morning prove correct and the index falls around 25 points this morning. There were a couple of occassions during the week when it looked as though the 6850 mark would be breached decisively, but it was not to be and we once again find ourselves below that level.

It has been a quiet week on the corporate front, but there were dividend increases from Halma for the 35th consecutive year and a large hike in the dividend from Betfair who are starting to look like a good dividend pick with over 20% of their market cap in cash and plenty of cover. Definitely one to keep an eye on. Some analysts expected a special dividend from them, but you cannot complain about the 54% increase in the full year dividend. It is a crowded market but their offerings are market leading and there is the boost to come from the world cup. It is noticable that Next have been drifting down and it is not so long before they pay their final dividend of 93p and the third special of 50p. They go ex-dividend for both on the 9th July. Going ex for 143p will take them below the £64 price at which the board has set as the level that they may resume buybacks. Earnings are already set to rise this year after a strong first quarter and it may well be that they get a further boost from resumed buybacks, otherwise expect another special dividend in the next quarter. Easyjet are also starting to look very attractive at these levels having fallen some way for no particular reason.

Another quiet week lies ahead with results from Crest Nicholson, Ashtead, Berkeley Group and Micro Focus, who generally announce special dividends through a share scheme.

As we approach the half year end, the FTSE 100 is still only up about 1% on the year, so the biggest return for investors in 2014 so far comes from their dividends. The same is true of the FTSE 250.

This email was originally sent on Friday 13 June 2014

The Friday email is delivered to over 20,000 subscriber’s every week, and remains a widely read run-down of recent events and what investors can expect in the week ahead written by our chief analyst Mark Riding.

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