3 FTSE Shares You Should Have Bought Last Week: Sports Direct International Plc, Thomas Cook Group plc and BTG plc

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) fell for the fourth week in a row last week, dropping 24 points to 6,651, with little in the way of concrete news moving the index in either direction. So far this morning the FTSE is down a further 31 points to 6,620 — could we be on for five losing weeks?

Some shares bucked the overall trend last week and rewarded shareholders nicely. Here are three from the FTSE indices you’d have done well to hold:

Sports Direct International

Sports Direct International (LSE: SPD) shares have had a great year, gaining 90% to 737p since this time in 2012, including a 45.5p rise last week to 738.5p.

There has been little news since October’s pre-close update told us that sales for the nine weeks ending 29 September were up 15.1% and that gross profit was up 19.4%. But there’s clearly some anticipation making itself felt ahead of first-half results due on 12 December.

Full-year forecasts suggest a 27% rise in earnings per share, putting the shares on a forward P/E of 23.

Thomas Cook

The sadly-missed Sid Waddell famously once spoke of “the greatest comeback since Lazarus” — he could have been talking about Thomas Cook Group (LSE: TCG).

The travel agent had just about been given up for dead, before a remarkable recovery which has led to an eight-bagger for shareholders over just 12 months. Last week’s full-year results gave the shares an additional 25.4p (17%) boost to end Friday on 173.8p.

The company turned cash-flow positive over the year, net debt was cut from £788m to £421m, and a return to pre-tax profit and positive earnings is forecast for 2014 — moving chief executive Harriet Green to say “I am delighted to report that the first 365 days in the transformation of Thomas Cook have been a great success“.


A regulatory approval gave BTG (LSE: BTG) a boost last week, sending its shares up 99p (21.7%) to 556p.

The biotechnologist got the nod from the US Food and Drug Administration for Varithena (polidocanol injectable foam) for the treatment of varicose veins, after two phase III trials demonstrated its effectiveness.

Chief executive Louise Makin told us that “We look forward to the commercial US launch in the second quarter of 2014“.

Finally, if you're looking for investments that should take you all the way to a comfortable retirement, I recommend the Fool's special new report detailing five blue-chip shares. They'll be familiar names to many, and they've already provided investors with decades of profits.

But the report will only be available for a limited period, so click here to get your hands on these great ideas -- they could set you on the road to long-term riches.

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