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3 FTSE Shares Hitting New Highs: easyJet plc, Inmarsat Plc and DS Smith plc

Back in May, when it reached a 13-year record of 6,876 points, I really thought we’d be seeing the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) ending the year well in excess of 7,000. But the way things are going, it’ll be doing well to hang on to 6,500 — and with this week looking perilously like it could be the sixth losing one in a row, how close to 6,000 could the FTSE drop?

At least the index of top UK stocks is still some way ahead of its 52-week low of 5,873 set on the last day of 2012. And there are some individual shares setting records of their own — here are three from the indices reaching for the sky:

easyJet

Budget airline easyJet (LSE: EZJ) hit a 52-week high yesterday of 1,496p, before dropping back a little to end the day on 1,481p — but that was still a closing high.

Revenue for the year to 30 September rose by 10.5% to £4,258m. Pre-tax profit of £478m was near the top end of the firm’s earlier £470-480m guidance and represented a 51% increase, and earnings per share (EPS) grew by 62% to 101.3p. The ordinary dividend was lifted 56% to 33.5p, and a special dividend of 44.1p per share was proposed.

Passenger statistics are picking up too — the latest for November showed a 3.4% gain on a year previously, with a 12-month rolling count up 3.7% to more than 61 million.

Inmarsat

Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT) shares soared this week for a reason that not many companies get to report — the firm successfully launched its first Global Xpress satellite.

Inmarsat-5 F1 was lifted into into orbit atop a Proton Breeze M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and in the coming weeks it will be boosted further into a geostationary orbit where testing is expected to commence in February.

The share price? It closed on a 52-week high of 763.5p yesterday, taking it up more than 25% over the past 12 months.

DS Smith

We’re back down to Earth with DS Smith (LSE: SMDS), the supplier of recycled packaging. But even such a firmly ground-based product can bring in the money very nicely, as Smiths’ 42% share-price rise over the past 12 months attests.

That takes in a 12-month high of 316.5p yesterday, before the price dropped back a little to end on 313p, with momentum continuing on from last week’s first-half results. We saw a 25% rise in revenue, with pre-tax profit up 52% and EPS up 30%. The interim dividend was lifted 28% to 3.2p per share.

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