When the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) hit a 13-year high of 6,876 points in May, people were talking of 7,000 or 8,000, or even higher, by the end of the year. But ironically, economic recovery has put the brakes on the climb as it means a sooner end to central banks pumping out extra cash, and the FTSE is now down 191 points from that level to 6,685. Will we have a late surge to see a new record set by year-end?
We’ll have to wait and see, but there are plenty of individual shares hitting new highs of their own. Here are three from the FTSE indices:
Daily Mail and General Trust
Daily Mail and General Trust (LSE: DMGT) shares are up around 80% over the past 12 months, reaching a 52-week high of 874.5p today before falling back a little to 873p approaching midday.
After such a strong year, the shares are now on a forward P/E of 15.5 based on forecasts for the year to September 2014, after the firm recorded a 7% rise in earnings for 2013. That multiple is a bit higher than the FTSE average of 14, but for a share with growth prospects it still seems quite modest.
Travel operator Stagecoach Group (LSE: SGC) has had a pretty good five-year run, outstripping the FTSE’s 75% rise with a 125% gain. And that includes a gain of more than 30% over the past 12 months to reach a record price of 358.2p.
After a 19% rise in earnings per share for the year to April 2013, there’s a fall of about the same forecast for this year. But that still puts the shares on a P/E of only 14, dropping to 13 if the predicted return to growth in 2105 should materialize. Dividend yields are around 2.6%.
Shares in Telecom plus (LSE: TEP) soared yesterday after the multi-utilities supplier told us it has agreed to acquire Electricity Plus Supply and Gas Plus Supply from Npower, sealing a 20-year energy-supply deal into the bargain.
And the price is up a further 5.6% today, hitting a 52-week high of 1,959p for a 12-month rise of more than 110%. Based on pre-announcement forecasts, the shares are now on a forward P/E of 40, but expectations will surely now be raised.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.