LONDON -- Yesterday the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE ) disappointed those who had hoped for another close above the 6,300 level, finishing the day at 6,228 points. It's up 31 points, or 0.5%, as of 7:45 a.m. EST, but it's looking set to end the week down overall.
Again, there's little news around, and the index is pretty much just drifting this week, although today's small rise has benefited from an overnight boost in Asian markets. But whatever the macroeconomic picture, there are individual companies powering up every day. Here are three whose shares have reached new 12-month record prices:
Galliford Try (LSE: GFRD )
Shares in the homebuilding and construction businesses have been been doing well, though few have risen as strongly as Galliford Try. Over the past 12 months alone, the price has more than doubled to today's 858 pence, which is up on yesterday's 52-week closing high of 843 pence. And since a low of 280 pence set in October 2011, we have a three-fold rise.
But even after all that, forecasts for the year ending June 2013 put the shares on a price-to-earnings ratio of 12, with a dividend yield of 4.3% expected, while the following year's expectations lower the P/E to 11 and lift the yield to 5.1%. And there's no debt on the books to worry about, as Galliford Try ended its 2012 year with net cash.
SuperGroup (LSE: SGP )
Shares in SuperGroup, owner of the Superdry fashion brand, have had one of the FTSE's more hair-raising rides over the past couple of years, soaring to the unsustainable heights of around 20 pounds per share in early 2011 before reality and, eventually, a profit warning brought them crashing back down to about 3 pounds.
But over the past 12 months the shares have been on the way up again, reaching a new 52-week high of 749 pence this morning before dropping back a little to 728 pence. The gain was helped by an excellent Christmas trading season, bringing in a 10.6% rise in like-for-like sales for the quarter to Jan. 27. The shares are on a forward P/E for the year to April of 16, but with a couple of years of further earnings growth predicted after that, they don't look too expensive.
Goodwin (LSE: GDWN )
Small-cap engineer Goodwin also saw its shares reach a new 52-week high today, with the price standing at 2,270 pence at the time of writing. The share might not be the most liquid on the market, but its price has nearly doubled since a low of 1,150 pence set in May last year.
After a couple of tough years, the company more than doubled its earnings per share in a 2012 recovery, though we don't have any current forecasts from the City for the year to April 2013. On last year's earnings, the shares are on a historical P/E of 18.
Coming out of a recession when depressed share prices are rising, the odds can be tipped in favor of growth investors -- and we've seen strong share-prices rises for two of the three companies featured here today. But finding the best growth shares is not easy. If you want some help with the task, I recommend you get yourself a copy of our brand-new report "The Motley Fool's Top Growth Share For 2013," which is the result of some serious brain-work by the Fool's top analysts. It's completely free of charge, but it will be available for a limited period only, so click here to get your copy today.