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3 FTSE Shares Hitting New Highs: IMI plc, Mondi Plc And Drax Group Plc

While the markets are dithering over whether US economic stimulus is going to scaled back this week, next week, next month or whenever, it’s pretty unlikely the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is going to rescale the 13-year heights of 6,876 points set in May. In fact, after three weeks of losses, it’s opened this week down again, losing 58 points on the day so far to 6,434. Still, at least it’s unlikely to revisit its 52-week low of 5,606 any time soon — isn’t it?

The FTSE overall might be falling, but there are plenty of shares setting their own records. Here are three from the FTSE indices:

IMI

An engineering share gaining 75% over 12 months? Yes, that’s what’s happened to IMI (LSE: IMI) whose shares ended Friday on a 52-week closing high of 1,504p. They were slightly up on that, at 1,505p during the day, but today they’ve dropped a little to 1,474p as the FTSE retreats. Last week’s first-half results, which showed operating profit up 5% and earnings per share (EPS) up 8%, certainly helped — giving the dividend an 8% boost to 12.8p per share into the bargain.

After steady price growth, forecasts for the full year put the shares on a forward P/E of around 17 now,with the dividend yield falling to 2.3%, so the undervaluation looks to be largely out to me.

Mondi

If you didn’t think a paper and packaging firm might make a candidate for a record-setting price rise, then Mondi (LSE: MNDI) should make you think again — over the past 12 months, the company’s shares have soared nearly 90% to 1,038p. We saw a boost from interim results released on 8 August, which told us of a 35% rise in underlying operating profit with EPS up 60% and the dividend up 7% to 9.55 eurocents per share.

The valuation after that? Well, with a 30% EPS rise for the full-year forecast, the shares are still on a modest forward P/E of 13.5, falling to just over 12 for 2014 expectations. The dividend looks set to yield around 2.7% this year.

Drax Group

Power station operator Drax Group (LSE: DRX) set another new 52-week high on Friday, of 688.5p, before closing at 686p — the shares are 3p down on that to 683p at the time of writing. Increasing taxation on coal-fired generation has hurt the company’ profits in recent years and poses a continuing threat, but Drax is in the process of converting some of its capacity to use biomass instead.

The resulting upturn in Drax’s falling EPS is not expected to kick in until 2014, but with the shares on a P/E for 2013 forecasts of 26 falling to 21 next year, investors are clearly looking for profit growth to be as sustainable as the firm’s future power sources.

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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.