Moneysupermarket (LSE: MONY) gets a boost, while Legal & General (LSE: LGEN) still looks cheap
After yesterday's strong support or the euro from the European Central Bank, the FTSE 100 (UKX) today started moving back in the direction of its previous 52-week high of 5,989, rising to hit 5,790 at the time of writing for an overall gain of 79 points (1.4%) on the week so far.
And it's been a great week for individual FTSE index constituents, too, with new highs being regularly hit. Here are three companies that achieved the feat today:
Moneysupermarket.com (LSE: MONY) has had a strong, if intermittent, twelve months, but its shares have powered up since May, hitting a new 52-week high of 147p today. The acquisition of MoneySavingExpert, announced in August, gave the shares a big boost, and they're now up nearly 30% on twelve months ago.
Forecasts put the shares on a relatively high price to earnings ratio (P/E) of 18 for the full year to December, but that falls to 15 on 2013 expectations, and there's an expected dividend of 3.8%, rising to 4.4% for next year.
Online fashion retailer ASOS (LSE: ASC) is back to its old ways, hitting new highs once again. The shares are still some way short of the peaks reached in mid-2011, but at 1,973p (and having hit a new high of 1,995p earlier in the day!), they're up nearly 75% on their 12-month low set in December.
July's trading statement showed overall sales up 31% and, after the company changed its year-end, we're due a further update on 18 September for the three months to August. The firm's latest figures were good, but they need to be, with forecasts putting the shares on a forward P/E of a rather heady 40 -- nearly three times the long-term FTSE average of around 14.
Legal & General
In a further sign of the strengthening recovery in the financial sector, Legal & General (LSE: LGEN) equalled its 52-week high of 135p today. The shares had previously reached the same level back in March, before falling back to around 106p by the end of May.
However, the insurer's half-year report on 7 August was positive, showing a 14% rise in earnings per share and an 18% boost to the firm's interim dividend. Expectations for the second half put the shares on a year-end P/E of only 9.5, with a forecast dividend of 5.8%, and 2013 forecasts see those figures moving to 9 and 6.3% respectively. The shares are on a high, but they might still be cheap.
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> Alan Oscroft does not own any shares mentioned in this article