The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) edged ever closer to breaking the 7,000 barrier in January. Despite celebrating its 30th birthday last month, there was no cause for celebration as the index peaked at 6,834p before tumbling 3.5%. Disappointing results from major companies, combined with slowdown and turmoil in emerging markets, led to it being the worst January performance since 2010, when it fell over 4%.
A number of individual shares did well though. Here are some that did have reason to celebrate:
F&C Asset Management
Shares in F&C Asset Management (LSE: FCAM) shot up late in the month after the group confirmed reports that Canada’s Bank of Montreal made an offer worth 120p per share. The bank’s chief executive, Mario Mendonca, saw the acquisition as a way to profit from the economic recovery in Europe.
The share price soared as high as 125p after the news, leading to a massive increase of 34.7% on the beginning of the month. The stock has maintained since then, as investors may be awaiting a potential bidding war, with counter offers likely.
Online grocery firm Ocado (LSE: OCDO) reported strong results last month, posting a 20% growth in total sales of £270 million from £225 million across the four months ended December 31st. Ocado was a standout performer in 2013 with its stock rocketing 500% over 12 months. The share price reached a 52 week high in January of 541p, to the delight of shareholders.
The group assisted in the long-awaited launch of Morrisons’ online delivery service. In a £200 million joint venture, the group will be providing delivery logistics for Morrisons branded vans. Van efficiency has increased with shorter routes leading to profit per van rising. Ocado looks set for another strong performance this year.
African Barrick Gold
African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG) received a boost after its production levels exceeded expectations, in concert with cutting mining costs for the fifth quarter in a row. This enabled the the miner to ride out the 27% fall in gold prices last year.
New chief executive Brad Gordon was brought in as the company underwent an operational review. Since then things have turned around and in the six months ended December 31st the stock had risen 57%. January’s production results saw the firm’s share price increase 18%, peaking at 222p.
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> Mark does not own shares in any company mentioned.