3 FTSE Shares Hitting New Highs: BT Group plc, NEXT plc and Meggitt plc

After a run of five positive daily sessions, the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) fell back a little this morning, losing 30 points to 6,748, with Royal Dutch Shell losing 5% after Q3 figures disappointed the markets. But sentiment generally seems to be bullish, and the index of top UK shares is still only 128 points below May’s 13-year high of 6,876 — anyone for 7,000 by Christmas?

Even if a few big shares are down, there are plenty breaking new ground. Here are three records that have just been set:


BT Group shares have been soaring, gaining 75% over the past 12 months, and this morning reached a new 52-week high of 376.3p — as I write, the price is down a bit on that to 366p and actually down 3.6p on the day.

The slightly erratic share price path this morning is due to BT’s somewhat mixed first-half results. Revenue for the six months fell 1% to £8,940m, and reported profit before tax is down 13% to £499m — but on an underlying basis, BT says pre-tax profit is up 3%.

Reported earnings per share (EPS) rose just 1%, though adjusted EPS is up 3% to 11.9p, and the interim dividend has been lifted 13% to 3.4p.


High street fashion retailer NEXT (LSE: NXT) has had a great year too, with its shares up more than 50%. And again, the price reached a 52-week high this morning, of 5,550p, this time following on from yesterday’s strong set of Q3 figures.

In the third quarter, NEXT saw total sales rise 4.3%, with 3% year-to-date growth. NEXT Directory made up the lion’s share of that with a 10.7% gain, once again showing the vital importance of multi-channel sales these days.

For the full year, NEXT now expects to see pre-tax profit of £650-680m for a rise of between 4.6% and 9.4%, with basic EPS expected to gain between 15% and 21%.


Meggitt (LSE: MGGT) shares finished on a 52-week closing high of 566.5p yesterday, and are now up 45% over the past 12 months.

The aerospace and defence firm’s most recent good news, on 23 October, was of a major contract win. Meggitt is set to supply Dassault with braking, gear extension, steering and hydraulics for its new Falcon 5X business jet.

The price of the deal was not disclosed, but just said to be of “multi-million dollar” proportions, and it extends Meggitt’s association with the French plane maker — it’s braking systems are already used on a range of Dassault aircraft.

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