3 FTSE 100 Shares You Should Have Bought in December: The Sage Group plc, TUI Travel PLC and Supergroup PLC

For much of December it looked as if the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) was set to record a loss. In fact, on 16 December the index hit a low of 6,422, down 228 points on the month at that time. But a strong rebound in response to a tightening of US stimulus policy led to a month-end level of 6,749, for an overall gain of 99 points. January has not kicked off so well, mind, with the index down 33 points to 6,716 by late morning today.

Which shares helped the FTSE to a winning December? Here are three from the various indices:


Full-year results at the beginning of the month gave Sage Group (LSE: SGE) shares a boost, and they ended December with a 55p (16%) rise to 404p. The price is down a little today at 401p, but it’s still up nearly 35% over the past 12 months.

With revenue up 4%, underlying pre-tax profit for the year to 30 September picked up a modest 1% to £361m, with underlying earnings per share (EPS) up 12% to 22.27p. The total dividend was lifted 6% to 11.32p per share for a yield of 3.4%.

Forecasts for 2014 suggest a further 4% rise in EPS and put the shares on a P/E of 17, and that might prove decent value if the economy continues to strengthen.

TUI Travel

The leisure business is returning to health, and TUI Travel (LSE: TT) has benefited nicely with a 45.9p (12.5%) rise to 413.1p during the month. It’s fallen back a little to 407p so far today.

Record results for the year to 30 September, released on 10 December, helped. The firm, which owns the Thomson and First Choice brands, reported a 20% jump in operating profit to £589m with earnings per share up 19% to 30.8p. The dividend was lifted by 15% to 13.5p per share, for a 3.7% yield.

Over the year the shares are up more than 40%, yet they’re still on a forward P/E based on 2014 forecasts of a fairly modest 13.


December was a great year for fashion puveyor Supergroup (LSE: SGP), with the Superdry owner’s share price up 212p (18%) to end December on 1,415p — today it’s up a further 10p to 1,425p.

The month saw the release of results for the six months to 27 October, which we billed as “Progress on all fronts“. Revenue was up 21% with underlying pre-tax profit up 22% to £17.9m, and EPS rose by 28% to 16.3p. There is no dividend to be paid yet.

December’s rise has taken the shares up more than 150% over the past 12 months, and we’re looking at a P/E of 24 based on forecasts for the full year to April 2014.

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