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Why BT Group plc, Burberry Group plc And Barratt Developments Plc Soared This Week

Although the FTSE 100 is still hovering just shy of 7,000, we’ve seen some nice 52-week highs for individual companies this week,

Talk

BT Group (LSE: BT.A)(NYSE: BT.US) shares have climbed 13% over the past month, reaching a 52-week peak of 465.15p on Thursday. The price has dropped back a little on Friday, to 440p as I write, but we’re still looking at a 25% gain since the recent October low.

Although Sky won out in this week’s auction for the rights to show Premier League football, many observers thought the price paid — 80% more than last time round — was too high. And while BT shares rose on the news, Sky shares fell.

That came on top of BT’s successful bid for EE to re-enter the mobile telecoms market, which is making the company look an increasingly powerful force in delivering all-round telecoms services and content — and the rapidly successful placing of new equity as part of the EE takeover has shown the level of support BT enjoys from the institutions.

Rags

Shares in highly-successful fashion purveyor Burberry (LSE: BRBY)(NASDAQOTH: BURBY.US) are also up 13% in a month, and touched a 52-week high of 1,897p on Friday morning, before shedding a few pennies to fall back to 1,882p.

A first-half trading update last October kicked off a powerful run, and the shares are up 32% since then, given extra impetus by a positive third-quarter reported last month. In its Q3 update, Burberry reported a 15% rise in retail sales. And, critically, we heard of double-digit comparable growth in the Americas and the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa regions — that is, just about everywhere outside Asia, where fears of a Chinese slowdown had been holding back sentiment.

Bricks

Our third high-flyer of the week is housebuilder Barratt Developments (LSE: BDEV), which also reached a 52-week peak of 488.6p on Friday morning (and it’s only a penny back from that at the time of writing). Barratt shares are up only a modest 18% over the past 12 months, but that represents a gain of 44% since last August’s lows and a doubling over two years.

We have first-half results coming on 25 February, but a trading update last month has already revealed a 12.5% increase in total completions and an 8.4% rise in the average selling price. Chief executive Mark Clare said “We are on track for another significant improvement in our financial performance for the full year“.

And Barratt is not alone in the housebuilding sector, as Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Redrow have all reached new record highs this week too.

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