3 FTSE Shares You Should Have Bought Last Week: Aviva plc, Travis Perkins plc, and Ocado Group PLC

With the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) losing 59 points to end Friday on 6,454, there were few pickings among the UK’s top shares in the search for gains last week.

The week saw the FTSE fall to lows not seen since August, and things aren’t looking any better today — by late morning the index is down a further 56 points to 6,398, with no real progress in the US budget deadlock having been made.

But we did have a few positive individual movements last week, and here are three that might warrant further scrutiny:


The Aviva (LSE: AV) (NYSE: AV.US) share price been having a great time since April, and is now up 40% from that month’s lows to 412p today. That jump includes an 11p (2.8%) rise last week to end Friday on 415p before this morning’s small fall.

The big news last Thursday concerned the sale of Aviva USA for $2.6bn (1.7bn) to Athene Holding, picking up $0.8m more than originally anticipated due to a strong performance in the last quarter. The same day, the insurer also announced that it had redeemed and cancelled €650m of subordinated notes.

Travis Perkins

Building and plumbing merchant Travis Perkins (LSE: TPK) saw its shares gain 37p (2.2%) to end last week on 1,685p, though so far today they have given up 22p of that to stand at 1,663p.

The gain comes ahead of a third-quarter update due next week, with the shares up more than 50% over the past 12 months. The rise has lifted the firm’s forward P/E to a relatively high 17, with a 5% growth in earnings per share forecast for the full year to December.

Since dividends were resumed in 2010 they have been lifted each year, and there’s a further 20% boost expected this year, but the strong share-price rise means that payout would yield less than 2%.

Ocado Group

Shares in online shopping specialist Ocado Group (LSE: OCDO) continued to fly, and they’ve more than six-bagged over the past 12 months after putting on a further 26p (6.7%) to 421p last week — and so far today, the price is up another few pennies to 424p.

The real spur, of course, was Ocado’s tie-up with Wm. Morrison Supermarkets to get its belated online shopping service off the ground. And though Ocado will still make a loss for the year to November this year, we should hopefully be seeing the first profits trickling in next year.

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