Dechra (LSE: DPH), Direct Line (LSE: DLG) and TalkTalk (LSE: TALK) are powering up.
The FTSE 100 (UKX) is edging ever closer to its 52-week high of 5,989 points, today putting on another 13 points to reach 5,938. That's another in a recent string of nine-month highs, with just 51 points to go to hit that magic 12-month top -- what a nice Christmas present that would be for investors.
Some individual constituents of the various FTSE indices have been flying, too. Here are three hitting new highs:
Shares in Dechra Pharmaceuticals (LSE: DPH) have been storming on up of late, hitting a new 52-week closing high of 635p yesterday, falling back a little today to 630p. The new high took the shares up 43% from their year-low of 444p set in May.
First-half results in September were strong, showing pre-tax profits up 17%, bringing in double-digit growth for the veterinary care specialist for the ninth consecutive year. Full-year forecasts suggest a 24% rise in earnings per share, with the shares on a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of around 16, which doesn't seem stretching for a share with this kind of growth.
Direct Line (LSE: DLG) continues its post-flotation climb, closing at a high of 206p yesterday, before retreating just a penny to 605p at the time of writing. That's 13% up on the flotation price, and already a nice earner for those who took the risk during such uncertain economic times.
Forecasts for the year to December suggest a dividend yield of 4.2% and, if optimistic estimates for 2013 come off, we could be looking at 6.2% next year, so this could be the start of long-term rewards for shareholders.
The third of our trio today, telecoms provider TalkTalk (LSE: TALK), also reached a 52-week record close, of 224.9p yesterday, and is still at that price as I write. TalkTalk shares are now up 89% from their February low of 119p, which is a pretty substantial movement for a £2 billion company.
And though forecasts suggest an 11% fall in earnings for the year to March, they still predict a dividend yield of 4.7%, with an earnings recovery and further dividend growth pencilled in for the following year.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.