3 FTSE Shares Hitting New Highs: Vodafone Group plc, Associated British Foods plc and Booker Group Plc

With the recent mini-surge from the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) having come to an end and the index of top UK shares dropping a further 28 points today to 6,670, its regaining the 13-year high of 6,876 points set in May is looking more remote. But it is only 206 points, and a year-end rally could still do it.

Meanwhile, which individual shares are reaching their own highs? Here are three from the FTSE indices that just keep on keeping on:


Since the sell-off of its stake in Verizon wireless, Vodafone Group (LSE: VOD) (NASDAQ:VOD.US) has seen its share price just soar, and it climbed to yet another new 52-week high of 234.35p on Monday, before dropping back a little along with this week’s general bearish sentiment to 227p today.

That’s a rise of 42% over the past 12 months, and a 38p (20%) hike since the Verizon news broke in August. After that, the shares are still on a relatively undemanding forward P/E of 15 with a 4.5% dividend yield forecast.

Associated British Foods

Associated British Foods (LSE: ABF) is storming ahead, with its shares having climbed to a 52-week peak yesterday of 2,354p — today the price is back to 2,328p, but that’s still up more than 60% over the past 12 months.

The firm has enjoyed year-on-year earnings rises, though it does only pay out a modest (but thrice-covered) dividend with a yield of around 1.5%. And though the firm’s food businesses have been doing well, the star of the show has been budget clothing chain Primark, which chief executive George Weston described as having had a “remarkable year” at annual report time on 5 November.


Booker Group (LSE: BOK) shares have had a meteoric rise from their 2009 low-point of 21p, coming close to nearly seven-bagging since then to 161p today, including a 60% rise over the past 12 months.

Forecasts for the year to March 2014 put the food wholesaler’s shares on a forward P/E of 29 now, which many will think too rich, especially with a lowly dividend yield of under 2% — but we do have two more years of double-digit growth in earnings per share forecast for this year and next.

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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Vodafone.