The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) has recovered a little today after a small dip of 15 points last week to end on 6,693 — it’s up 34 points to 6,728 by just after midday, as we heard more about economic reform from China. The awakening giant is to allow more free-market setting of prices as it moves further towards a consumer-led economy, and that’s news that’s likely to benefit companies that are already active in the Chinese consumer market, like the very popular Burberry.
But which individual shares had a good week last week? Here are three winners:
J Sainsbury (LSE: SBRY) saw its shares climb 14p (3.5%) to 409p after extending its share of the UK groceries market to 16.8%, its highest in a decade.
First half results told us of a 4.4% rise in sales to £13,953m, with underlying pre-tax profit up 7% to £400m and underlying earnings per share (EPS) up 9.2% to 16.6p. The interim dividend was lifted 4.2% to 50 per share.
The Sainsbury share price is up a little more than 20% over the past 12 months, just ahead of the FTSE, and there’s a full-year dividend yield of 4.3% forecast.
Shares in publisher Pearson (LSE: PSON) have been perking up since the company’s third-quarter update on 30 October, and last week gained 35p (2.7%) to end on 1,338p.
The price has been rising erratically since the Spring, and it’s now about 12% up over the past 12 months — still behind the FTSE, but better than the negative territory it was in back in April. The recovery has been boosted by cost savings as part of its restructuring progress.
Back at the nine-month stage the firm told us to expect adjusted EPS in line with last year’s, and that would put the shares on a forward P/E of about 16, with a dividend yield of 3.6% predicted.
We have to look outside the top index for this week’s big winners, with Oxford Instruments (LSE: OXIG) racing ahead to a 213p (16.6%) gain to 1,495p after the firm announced a 500p-per-share offer for Andor Technology (LSE: AND). The bid, announced on the day of Oxford’s first-half results, met with a cold response from Andor, who branded the announcement “premature and unhelpful”.
The move did, however, push the Andor price up 90p (22.5p) to 495p on the day of the announcement.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.