3 FTSE Shares You Should Have Bought Last Week: Johnson Matthey PLC, Persimmon plc and Telecom plus PLC

It was another down week for the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE), making it three in a row, after the index of top UK shares suffered a modest fall of 19 points to 6,674. But so far this morning it has recovered all bar a point of that, picking up 18 points to 6,692 as the nuclear deal with Iran has apparently generated a bit of optimism.

But which individual shares did well last week? Here are three from the FTSE indices:

Johnson Matthey

Industrial chemicals and metals producer Johnson Matthey (LSE: JMAT) saw its shares climb 255p (8.5%) in first-half results week.

Figures were up strongly across the board — revenue up 31% to £6,411m, underlying pre-tax profit up 13% to £212.9m and earnings per share up 18% to 84.9p. The interim dividend got a nice 10% boost to 17p per share, as chief executive Neil Carson told us that “performance in the second half will be in line with that of the first six months” excluding the effect of the firm’s expiring arrangements with Anglo American Platinum.


House builder Persimmon (LSE: PSN) bounced back last week, after the shares slipped a bit when the company told us at interim time that uptake for the latest phase of the government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme had been slow.

After a 62p (5.3%) gain last week to 1,221p plus a further 8p so far today, shares in Persimmon, a constituent of the Fool’s Beginners’ Portfolio, are now up more than 60% over the past 12 months, with the whole sector having enjoyed a good couple of weeks.

Telecom plus

The story for Telecom plus (LSE: TEP) in recent years has been one of strong growth — from a 2009 low of 268p, today the shares are up more than six-fold. And they’ve doubled in the last 12 months alone, largely thanks to a 316p (21%) spike last week to 1,829p on news of a potentially lucrative new deal.

First-half figures were good, but were upstaged by the news that Telecom plus has agreed to acquire Electricity Plus Supply and Gas Plus Supply from Npower, and has snagged a 20-year energy supply deal into the bargain. Executive chairman Charles Wigoder described it as “a transformational deal for the Company, delivering significant earnings enhancement”.

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