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3 FTSE Shares Hitting New Highs: Lloyds Banking Group PLC, BT Group plc And BG Group plc

What are the chances of the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) setting a new high this year? Well, as I write it’s standing at 6,758 points, up 27 on the day — and that’s only 118 points short of the 13-year record of 6,876 it set in May 2013. I’ll be very surprised if the FTSE doesn’t smash through that level before too much of this year is gone.

We have a number of big companies helping the index on its way. Here are three reaching new highs of their own:

Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) (NYSE: LYG.US) shares are now up more than 60% over 12 months, reaching a 52-week high today of 82.39p before settling back a little to 82.1p.

We should be seeing a return to profit for the year just ended in December, and City analysts have a rise in EPS of a third penciled in for 2014 to put the shares on a forward P/E of 12.

Dividends should start coming back too, with a modest 2.9% yield forecast for 2014 and there’s a rise to a respectable 4.7% according to early 2015 forecasts.

BT Group

BT Group (LSE: BT-A) shareholders haven’t enjoyed quite the same rise as Lloyds, with their gain coming in just short of 60%. But I doubt they’re complaining after their shares reached a new high this morning of 387.5p, dropping back a penny to 386.5p at the time of writing.

BT’s earnings and dividends are on the rise, and after a decent showing for the year to March 2013 there’s a 20% rise in the dividend forecast for the current year to 10.4p per share — although after the shares have had such a bullish run, that would only yield 2.7% at today’s price.

BG Group

BG Group (LSE: BG) shares are up a relatively modest 26% over the past year, but that does take in a new high of 1,310p today — as I write, the shares are trading at 1,307p.

BG shares are on a forward P/E of 15.5 based on forecasts for the year to December 2014, which is a bit above the FTSE’s average of 14, but early predictions for 2015 would drop that to about 12. However, forecast dividends are likely to yield only around 1.5%, though they should be more than four times covered by earnings.

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