3 FTSE 100 Shares Hitting New Highs: Aviva Plc, Diageo Plc And London Stock Exchange Group Plc

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) looks set to slip back further from its 13-year record of 6,876 points this week, standing 87 points down on the week at 6,561 by mid-afternoon today. It’s now 315 points short of reaching a new high, though today’s news of higher Chinese factory output and a closing UK trade gap bodes well for its medium-term chances.

But quite a few individual FTSE 100 shares are ending the week having reached new heights. Here are three of them:


The whole insurance sector is on a roll these days, with Aviva (LSE: AV) (NYSE: AV.US) hitting a new 51-week high of 406.4p today, before dropping back a little to 396p. That leaves the shares, which I selected for the Fool’s Beginners’ Portfolio in March, up 25% over the past 12 months.

The firm’s first-half results were out yesterday, and showed a 17% boost to new business in the period, with a pre-tax profit of £776m (the same period last year brought a £624m loss). Do Aviva shares have further to go? Well, forecasts put them on a P/E of only 9.7 with a dividend yield of 4.2% predicted — I think they’re still cheap.


At 2,101p, Diageo (LSE: DGE) shares are down a little today, but they ended yesterday on a 52-week closing high of 2,136.5p, having peaked at 2,152.5p during the day. That takes the price up more than 20% over the past year, which seems quite impressive for such a relatively unexciting business.

But Diageo is clearly a good business, having grown its earnings per share (EPS) every year for the past five years, with double-digit growth for the past three. And current forecasts suggest a further 8% EPS growth for the year to 2014. But that does come at a price, with the shares on a forward P/E of nearly 19.

London Stock Exchange

The London Stock Exchange (LSE: LSE) has benefited nicely from this year’s bull run, making an entry for itself in the FTSE 100 along the way as its shares climbed to a 52-week high of 1,633p yesterday — they’re back a bit from that as I write, at 1,615p.

In July, the firm reported a 39% jump in first-quarter revenue, to £249.7m, with the acquisition of LCH.Clearnet adding £60.7m, and chief executive Xavier Rolet told us that “The Group is well placed to build on the positive start we have made so far this year“. After LSE’s strong price rise, the shares are not looking to me like a screaming bargain these days, with forecasts putting them on a P/E of 16 with a less-than-average 2% dividend yield forecast.

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