3 FTSE Shares You Should Have Bought Last Week: Mulberry Group PLC, Hargreaves Lansdown plc and Hikma Pharmaceuticals Plc

Last week the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) closed down 185 points, or 2.75%, on the start of the week. Investors were spooked ahead of the referendum in Crimea and economic data indicated a slowdown in China.

If you kept your nerve and bought shares — a great business is still a great business, no matter what market sentiment is — then you might have picked up a bargain or two.

Here are some of the top risers:


MulberryShares in Mulberry (LSE:  MUL) hiked 5% this week after the chief executive, Bruno Guillon, resigned after serving two years in the role. His tenure had not been successful.

Earlier this year Mulberry’s shares plunged 24% after announcing another profit warning. Guillon stated at the time that the company “continues to invest in the ongoing process of transforming Mulberry from a domestic to a global luxury brand.”

That was his failing. The result of this strategy was a steep hike in prices, that put off consumers. Mulberry has been rudderless for some time after the brand’s creative director, Emma Hill, resigned last summer in opposition to the new direction.

Mulberry’s previous success was based on designs that were expensive, but not out of reach, for many British shoppers. Even in 2009, during the recession, UK sales improved 40%.

Today? Nobody’s buying a Mulberry bag that costs upwards of £1,000. Instead, customers have defected to cheaper brands such as Coach and Michael Kors.

Godfrey Davis, the company’s chairman, will take over until a successor is found.

Hargreaves Lansdown

_ISA2Hargreaves Lansdown (LSE: HL) was a big beneficiary from George Osborne’s Budget announcement on Wednesday. The shares are up 11% since the beginning of the week.

The gains came at the expense of leading insurers, such as Aviva and Legal & General — which fell 11% and 7% respectively — after it was announced that pensioners will no longer require an annuity to remove money from their pension pot.

Hargreaves Lansdown, the UK’s largest investment platform, should receive an upswing in business as pensioners take their savings as a lump sum and invest money in the stock market.

A similarly favourable news snippet was the announcement that ISAs, which currently exist in two forms — cash and stocks — will be merged into a single “New ISA” with a higher annual savings limit of £15,000. Hargreaves sells ISAs, and again, will benefit here.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals

astrazenecaAnalysts were widely predicting Hikma Pharmaceuticals’ (LSE: HIK) final results would show a 90% earnings increase. The shares have been thriving on these expectations.

When the official figures were unveiled they smashed the forecasts, coming in at 111%, and the share price has increased 7% on last week.

Since the beginning of the year Hikma’s gains have more than tripled the leading blue-chip pharma companies GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca combined. Being a smaller company, Hikma Pharmaceuticals is potentially a more attractive growth stock than its larger brethren.

One way of beating the market

Of course, the market can be fickle, and it's impossible to predict each and every movement. But if you invest in solid FTSE 100 blue-chips that can withstand all manner of seismic volatility, then you have a real chance at success.

If you'd like to find out some of the Motley Fool's favourite companies, then why not read our exclusive report, entitled "The Fool's Five Shares To Retire On".

Best of all, to find out these five 'must own' stocks for 2014 and beyond won't cost you a thing. That's right, it's free!

But for a limited time only. Simply click here for you copy.

Mark does not own shares in any company mentioned. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in GlaxoSmithKline.