LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE ) is edging ever closer to its 52-week high of 5,989 points, today putting on another 21 points to reach 5,946. That's another in a recent string of nine-month highs, with just 43 points to go to hit that magic 12-month top -- what a nice Christmas present that would be for investors!
Some individual constituents of the various FTSE indexes have been flying, too. Here are three hitting new highs.
Dechra (LSE: DPH )
Shares in Dechra Pharmaceuticals have been storming on up of late, hitting a new 52-week high of 636 today. This takes the shares up 43% from their year-low of 444 pence, set in May.
First-half results in September were strong, showing pre-tax profits up 17% and marking nine consecutive years of double-digit growth for the veterinary-care specialist. Full-year forecasts suggest a 24% rise in earnings per share, with the shares on a forward price-to-earnings ratio of around 16, which doesn't seem stretching for a share with this kind of growth.
Direct Line (LSE: DLG )
Direct Line continues its post-flotation climb, closing at a high of 206 pence yesterday and continuing up to 209 pence today. The stock is up more than 13% on the flotation price and is already a nice earner for those who took the risk during such uncertain economic times.
Forecasts for the year to December suggest a dividend yield of 4.2%, and if optimistic estimates for 2013 prove right, we could be looking at 6.2% next year, so this could be the start of long-term rewards for shareholders.
TalkTalk (LSE: TALK )
The third of our trio today, telecom provider TalkTalk reached a 52-week record of 224.9 pence yesterday and has held at that price today. TalkTalk shares are now up 89% from their February low of 119 pence, which is a pretty substantial movement for a 2 billion pound company.
And though forecasts suggest an 11% fall in earnings for the year to March, they still predict a dividend yield of 4.7%, with an earnings recovery and further dividend growth penciled in for the following year.
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