3 FTSE 100 Shares Hitting New Highs: Hargreaves Lansdown PLC, Sports Direct International Plc and Stagecoach Group plc

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) looks like it’s stumbling along to another unexciting week — it’s up 24 points on the day to 6,678, but that’s a rise of only 4 points on the week so far. We’re running out of time if the index of top UK shares is going to beat the 13-year record of 6,876 points set in May by the end of the year.

But there are individual companies setting their own records nearly every day. Here are three:

Hargreaves Lansdown

Hargreaves Lansdown (LSE: HL) shares hit a record 52-week close yesterday of 1,222p, having been as high as 1,226p during the day — today the price is unchanged from that close at 1,222p.

That takes the shares up approximately 60% over the past 12 months, well ahead of a FTSE that has managed only 14%. And if we look further back, the Hargreaves Lansdown price has more than seven-bagged over the past five years.

Looking forward, it’s perhaps not surprising to see the shares on a P/E of 33 based on 2014 forecasts. But there is a further 15% rise in earnings per share predicted, although that is below the 28% average rise per year over the previous five years.

Sports Direct International

Sports Direct International (LSE: SPD) shares have nearly doubled over the past 12 months, closing on a new high yesterday of 743p — the price fell back a little from that to 740p by mid-afternoon today.

The sports clothing firm has had a remarkable run of earnings growth over the past four years after a slight dip in 2009, and City analysts are currently forecasting rises of 29% and 21% for the next two years. That puts the shares on a higher-than-average P/E of 23 for 2014, falling to 18 on 2015 predictions. There’s no meaningful dividend yet.


Stagecoach Group (LSE: SGC) is our third to have had a great five years, with its shares up three-and-a-half-fold since their 2009 low, to 369.8p today — and that’s a 52-week record, after a strong surge since the summer.

Unlike the other two above, Stagecoach shares are not really pushing it on the P/E front — even after such a rise, they’re still on a forward P/E for 2014 of just 14.5, dropping to 13.5 based on 2015 forecasts. And there’s a reasonable, if a little below average, dividend of 2.6% predicted for next year. And Stagecoach has a good record of dividend rises.

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