A record high for the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE)? Well, that’s unlikely any time soon as the index, standing at 6,550, is still a long way short of the 6,876-point 13-year record it set in May. But at least it’s on the up, and at 137 points ahead so far it looks set to put in a winning week this week to end its losing streak of four weeks in a row.
But which companies are reaching for new highs? Here are three managing to do it:
BT Group (LSE: BT-A) (NYSE: BT.US) shares reached a 52-week high today, of 346.5p, before giving up a few pennies to stand at 345p by mid-afternoon — the price is now up 50% over the past 12 months.
The popularity of the BT Sport channels has helped, with the firm signing a wholesale deal with Virgin Media in August. That came after modest first-quarter figures in July, which showed adjusted pre-tax profit up 5% to £595m and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) up 5% to 5.9p.
Forecasts suggest modest EPS and dividend growth for the full year.
Kingfisher (LSE: KGF) shares closed yesterday on a high of 405.8p, taking them up more than 40% over the past 12 months — today the price has softened a little, to 402p.
The latest rise comes ahead of first-half results due next Wednesday, with the owner of B&Q and Screwfix having told us to expect a 1.4% rise in sales for the half, after a strong second quarter made up for a disappointing Q1 with a 5.2% rise.
Consumer confidence is apparently still weak, especially in the firm’s European operations, but the first half should be in line with guidance.
It’s big enough to be a FTSE 100 member, but it’s still AIM-listed. But that hasn’t kept investors away from online fashion purveyor ASOS (LSE: ASC), whose shares climbed to a high of 5,029p today — by the time of writing they’re back from that a bit at 5,018p. That’s pretty good going seeing how they were selling for under 300p back in 2009.
But you don’t get share price growth like that without suffering, and in this case its the firm’s P/E — despite forecasts of an EPS rise of 65% this year, the price currently stands at 102 times forecast earnings. Eyes stopped watering yet? We’ll, to get that down to the FTSE’s long-term average of 14, we’ll need to see EPS climb more than seven-fold.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.