British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (LON: BSY), Bovis Homes Group plc (LON: BVS) and Bellway plc (LON: BWY) lead the way today.
The FTSE 100 seems settled around the 6,300 level at the moment, closing last night just below it at 6,295, but rising 11 points on the day to reach 6,306 at the time if writing. Sentiment seems to be torn between global economic optimism and the recognition that eurozone woes have not gone away.
But that's not holding back some of our high-flying companies. Here are three constituents of the various FTSE indices that are setting new records today:
British Sky Broadcasting (LSE: BSY) (NASDAQOTH:BSYBY.US) has been on a roll, despite the formation of a seriously large UK rival after the takeover of Virgin Media by Liberty Global. BSkyB shares are up nearly 20% over the past 12 months, and have today beaten their 52-week closing high of 825.5p to reach 826.9p -- though as I write, the price is down a bit from that on 823p.
Half-year results released at the end of January showed a 5% rise in revenue with an 18% boost to adjusted earnings per share, enabling the firm to lift its interim dividend by 20% to 11p. Full-year forecasts for June 2013 put the shares on a P/E of 14.4 with a dividend yield of 3.4%.
As we enter a month that will bring is us results from a number of the UK's housebuilders, the whole sector is doing well. Bovis Homes (LSE: BVS) closed on a new 52-week high of 640p yesterday, and today is ahead of that on 645p.
Like a number of others in the sector, Bovis sees its shares on a relatively high P/E multiple, based on December 2012 expectations, of over 22. But that reflects improving forward-looking sentiments, with forecasts suggesting earnings per share growth of nearly 40% this year and 25% next. That brings the P/E for 2014 down to a level of 13, which is closer to the long term FTSE average of 14.
Shares in Bellway (LSE: BWY) have beaten Bovis over the past 12 months, rising nearly 50% to reach a high of 1,175p this morning, before falling back a little to 1,160p at the time of writing.
After three years of recovering earnings with growth averaging around 50% a year, we have further growth of around 20% a year forecast for this year and next. Based on forecasts for July 2013, the shares are on a forward P/E of 14, falling to 12 for 2014. And dividends are starting to creep up -- with yields of 2.1% forecast for this year, rising to 2.6% for next.
Finally, coming out of a recession when depressed share prices are rising, the odds can be tipped in favour of growth investors -- and we've seen strong share prices rises for two of the three companies featured here today. But finding the best growth shares is not easy.
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> Alan Oscroft does not own any shares mentioned in this article.