It looks like we could be on for our third week’s rise in a row for the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE), now that UK investors appear to have put the recent US budget wrangling behind them. By late morning today the index of top UK stocks was up 21 points to 6,695, taking it up 72 points on the week so far.
At this rate, breaking the 13-year record of 6,876 set in May before the end of the year could be on — there’s only 181 points to go now!
But which top shares are helping push the FTSE upwards? Here are three setting their own records today:
International Consolidated Airlines
International Consolidated Airlines (LSE: IAG) reached a new 52-week high of 369p in early trading this morning, before dropping back a little to 364p. The shares are now around 130% up over the past 12 months, with their current bull run showing no sign of fading.
The optimism precedes what should be a return to profit this year, after the owner of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia slumped to a loss last year. There’s a pre-tax profit of £240m forecast, with a trebling of that to around £730m predicted for 2014. It’s still early days for a forecast that far out, but if it comes off the shares would be on a P/E of only 10 for 2014.
British Sky Broadcasting
British Sky Broadcasting Group (LSE: BSY) (NASDAQOTH: BSYBY.US) shares have been surging since the company released an impressive set of third-quarter figures a week ago, and today the price stretched further to set a record for the year of 951p. That’s a gain of more than 30% over a year ago, and reflects Sky’s continuing success in attracting new customers — it now has more than five million broadband subscribers and 3.4 million using Sky+HD boxes.
Forecasts put the shares on a forward P/E of 16, which is above average but shouldn’t be too stretching. And there’s a 3.4% dividend yield expected.
Prudential (LSE: PRU) shares are up more than 50% over the past year, breaking new ground to reach 1,280p this morning, as the insurance sector is staging a bit of a comeback.
Prudential has recorded rising earnings per share throughout the past five years and has kept its dividend growing too, and there’s more of the same forecast for the next two years.
The City has the shares on a P/E of 16 for this year, but that falls to around 13 based on 2014 forecasts. Dividends are predicted to keep growing, but after this year’s share price rise the yield should fall to around 2.5%.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in BSkyB.