3 FTSE 100 Shares Hitting New Highs

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) is down from the 52-week high of 6,534 points it set on March 12, having dropped 0.49% today to close at 6,458 after markets were shaken by the proposed bailout of Cyprus and its associated one-off tax on bank deposits.

But even if the index is off its high, there are still individual companies setting new 52-week records. Here are three FTSE 100 names that did just that today.

Diageo (LSE: DGE  ) (NYSE: DEO  )
Diageo shares are hovering around a 52-week high, having gained more than 30% over the past 12 months. Today the price finished at 2,013 pence, which is just a few pennies short of the high of 2,023 pence it briefly touched on Friday.

Last week the drinks firm announced plans to target savings of 60 million pounds a year through reorganizing its supply chain operations as "a consequence of increasing presence in new faster growth markets." Forecasts for the year to June 2013 put the shares on a P/E of about 20, with 9% earnings-per-share growth expected.

BAE Systems (LSE: BA  )
Fool Beginners' Portfolio constituent BAE Systems saw its shares hit a 52-week record today of 384 pence, taking the price up more than 40% since last summer's lows -- and up 17% since a month ago.

A fall in earnings for the year to December 2012 put the shares on a P/E of only 8.7, but a dividend of 19.5 pence per share provides a trailing yield of 5.8%. Forecasts for this year call for a 10% rise in earnings to give a forward P/E of nine, and an expected twice-covered dividend of 20.4 pence per share represents a yield of 5.3% at the current price.

Home Retail (NYSE: HOME  )
The recovery at Home Retail is going strong, with the shares reaching a new closing high of 155 pence on Friday and then rising above that to 156.5 pence today. The price is up nearly 30% over the past two weeks, driven by a forecast-busting performance from the group's Argos chain that should yield better-than-expected profits for the full year.

The firm's Homebase chain is struggling a bit, however, with turnover for the year down nearly 5%, but that was largely expected. Earnings are going to fall around 25% this year, but a return to rising profits is already forecast for 2014.

Even if your shares aren't hitting new 52-week highs, dividends can add nicely to your investment returns -- they can be spent or reinvested according to your needs. Whether you're investing for income or growth, good old cash is always welcome. And that's why I recommend the brand-new Fool report "The Motley Fool's Top Income Share For 2013," in which our top analysts identify a share they believe will provide handsome dividend income for years to come. The report will be available for a limited period only, so click here to receive your copy today.


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