3 Shares Soaring To 52-Week Highs: National Grid plc, British American Tobacco plc, Dixons Carphone PLC

The FTSE 100 might be in an erratic phase as we near year-end, but some investors will be very happy as their shares climb to new highs.

National Grid

The FTSE has fallen by a third of a percent over the past 12 months, but National Grid (LSE: NG) (NYSE: NGG.US) shareholders won’t care about that — they’re up 21% as their shares reached a 52-week high of 942p today. And on top of that, they look set to enjoy a dividend yield of around 4.5%.

Coming off a five-year spell of strong earnings growth, National Grid is forecast to report a small drop in EPS for the current year, but even with that the shares are on a forward P/E of only around 16 — it’s above average, but it looks pretty good to me for such a strong dividend payer.

More to come? I think so.

British American Tobacco

British American Tobacco (LSE: BATS) (NYSE: BTI.US) took a bit of a dive earlier this year, hitting a low of 2,871p in February. But since then the price has risen 796p to a 52-week high of 3,667p today, before dropping back a little to 3,652p as I write. That’s a gain of 25% from low to high, and rescues what was looking like an under-performing year — over 12 months the shares are up 7%, beating the FTSE.

The company was boosted by first-half results in July which showed that, though overall cigarette volumes are still falling, key markets and “Global Drive” brands are on the up.

A drop in the value of sterling has almost certainly helped too — the strong pound looks set to turn a constant-exchange-rate rise in EPS into a fall at actual rates, but the effect should be less now than it appeared at one stage.

Dixons Carphone

Dixons’ recovery since its near-fatal crunch during the recession is now almost legendary, and since its merger with Carphone Warehouse to produce Dixons Carphone (LSE: DC) things have been getting even better. Since the two firms combined their efforts in August, the share price has climbed 20% to today’s 412p, while the FTSE has been boringly flat over the same period.

Analysts seem bullish too, and there’s a modest 7% EPS growth pencilled in for the year to March 2015 followed by 24% for the firm’s first full year as a combined entity to March 2016. Dividends for the current year should be modest with a yield of only around 1.7%, but that’s expected to rise to 2.2% the year after — and growth at that rate should produce a decent yield before too long.

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Alan Oscroft has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended National Grid. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.