The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) put in a strong October and gained 269 points (4.2%) to finish the month on 6,731, showing that the various short-term panics like the US budget deadlock really don’t mean anything in the long term. Another month like that would see the index of top UK shares smash through the 13-year record of 6,876 points it set in May — it’s only 145 points short, so the chances must be good.
Which shares helped the FTSE to such a good month? Here are there that climbed strongly in October:
Shares in investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown (LSE: HL) finished the month at 1,190p, up a very nice 210p (21.5%) the head the FTSE-100’s gains for October. Over the past 12 months, the price has gained more than 60%, having put in a strong bull run starting in February.
The big news in October came in the form of an upbeat trading statement for the three months to 30 September — a period which saw assets under management reach a record level of £39.3bn after increasing by £2.9bn.
After the company’s active client count grew by 20,000 to 528,000, revenue rose 13.4% to £77.9m.
First-half results did the trick for Whitbread (LSE: WTB), sending the hotel and restaurant group’s shares up 469p (15.8%) to 3,433p.
Revenue for the six months was up 12.4% to £1,145m, with like-for-like sales up 2.8%. That gave underlying pre-tax profit a 12.6% boost to £216m, with underlying earnings per share up 12.2% to 90.92p. And after that performance, the board saw fit to lift the interim dividend 11.8% to 21.8p per share.
Whitbread shares have also had a great 12 months, gaining 45%.
Our third winner for October is Fool’s Beginners’ Portfolio member Persimmon (LSE: PSN), a housebuilder which has seen its share price gain almost 60% over 12 months and more than 150% in the past two years. In October the price rose 179p (16.5%), to reach 1,265p by Halloween.
A positive first-half report in August helped carry the year’s momentum forward. But October’s boost came mainly from the expansion of the government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme, which has seen most of the UK’s big lenders starting to offer low-deposit mortgages backed by government guarantees for 15% of the mortgage over a period of seven years.
> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.