These FTSE 100 stars have exploded in Q3! And they’re not finished yet

It’s unsurprising that AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) has been one of the FTSE 100‘s (INDEXFTSE: UKX) leading lights since Q3 kicked off, the drugs developer adding 15% in value during the period.

Healthcare providers are traditional ‘safe-haven’ stocks in times of economic and geopolitical turmoil, such is the reliable nature of their products regardless of broader concerns.

And with the financial implications of Brexit on the domestic and global economies likely to remain on the front pages in the months ahead, and signs of intensifying economic cooling in Asia stoking investor nerves still further, I reckon AstraZeneca should continue to rise.

But the Cambridge firm also has plenty to offer in the long term thanks to its revamped product pipeline. AstraZeneca has received regulatory approval for a further three products since the end of April alone, and has more than a dozen new molecular entities (or NMEs) at the pivotal trial stage or filed with regulators.

Despite recent share price strength, I reckon a forward P/E rating of 16.7 times — allied with a chunky 4.1% dividend yield — still makes AstraZeneca a great value pick.

Exciting expansion

While not quite back to its pre-referendum levels, leisure operator Whitbread (LSE: WTB) has bounced from the two-and-a-half year lows punched in June.

Whitbread’s stock value has leapt 17% since the start of July alone, the Costa Coffee and Premier Inn operator’s weighty international presence making it a popular pick for those fearing the impact of Brexit.

And last month the business announced a fine-tuning of its overseas expansion strategy — Whitbread said it plans to “grow its businesses in Germany, a structurally attractive hotel market and in the Middle East where we operate a profitable and growing joint venture.” Whitbread also announced a phased withdrawal from India and South East Asia.

That’s not to say Whitbread plans to rein in its plans for the UK, and the firm wants to grow the number of Premier Inn rooms it offers to 85,000 by 2020, up from 65,000 at present, while also boosting its Costa Coffee footprint.

Surging budget accommodation demand and a rising thirst for its hot drinks make Whitbread a reliable growth selection, in my opinion, and a prospective P/E rating of 16.5 times represents decent value too.

Salute this stock star

Car insurance colossus Admiral (LSE: ADM) has also surged in recent weeks, the share gaining 12% in value since the quarter began and visiting record highs in the process.

A backcloth of recovering car premiums has seen investors pile into the stock, with latest ABI figures showing the average cost of comprehensive cover in Britain up 10% year on year during April-June, to £434.

And Admiral’s improving performance in Europe also provides another handsome growth lever for the years ahead.

A forward P/E rating of 21 times may appear expensive on paper. But those seeking value should be satisfied by a stonking dividend yield of 5.2%. Indeed, I expect Admiral’s stunning dividend prospects to keep driving investor demand.

Make a fortune while others fidget

In short, there are plenty of reasons to remain bullish on the UK stock market, even if the risks have just leapt a notch or several.

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