3 FTSE Shares Hitting New Highs: Vodafone Group plc, Close Brothers Group plc and Go-Ahead Group plc

After picking up just 12.5 points yesterday to at least interrupt its recent slide, the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is hovering two points down today at 6,447. That puts it 66 points down on the week, and heading for its third losing week in a row.

The markets are clearly not in any mood to be pushing the index of top UK shares back up to May’s 13-year record of 6,876 points in the near future, but at least a fall back to the year’s low of 5,606 also seems unlikely.

But which shares are setting records? Here are three from the FTSE indices reaching 52-week highs.


Vodafone (LSE: VOD) (NASDAQ: VOD.US) shares have been soaring since the Verizon deal, and they climbed to a new 52-week high of 220.8p today. That takes the price up around 23% over the past 12 months, and up more than 40% since the start of 2013 when the shares were in a bit of a slump.

But even after such a strong gain, the shares are not obviously expensive. Year-end results to March 2013 put them on a P/E of about 12 and shareholders enjoyed a 5.5% dividend yield. But at today’s high we’re still looking at a forward P/E of only 14, which is distinctly average, and there’s a better-than-average dividend of 4.8% forecast.

Close Brothers

Banking and investment firm Close Brothers Group (LSE: CBG) is also on a high, with its shares up 42% to hit a 52-week high of 1,230p today — by mid-morning, the price had fallen back 2p from that.

Full-year results released last month showed gains across the board, with banking growing nicely and asset management returning to profit. The firm was able to lift its dividend by 7% to 44.5p, providing a nice yield of 4.3%. For the current year there’s an 8% rise in the dividend forecast, though with the share price up so strongly the yield would drop to 4.1%.


Go-Ahead Group (LSE: GOG) shares have gained more than 25% over 12 months to open on a high of 1,708p this morning, before dropping back a little to 1,693p as the morning progressed.

Final results from the transport operator released in September were pretty reasonable, with the company achieving record passenger levels in both its rail and bus divisions. And although pre-tax profit, excluding exceptionals, did fall 8%, the results were “slightly ahead of management expectations”.

The dividend was maintained at 81p per share for the fifth year running, for a yield of 5.5%. And even if, as expected, it remains at that level for this year, it’ll still yield 4.9%.

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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has recommended Vodafone.