FTSE Shares That Soared and Plunged This Week

LONDON -- By Wednesday it looked as if the FTSE 100 was heading to deliver its fifth weekly rise in a row, and even the London-listed miners were enjoying rare price rises. But the index of top-tier U.K. stocks turned tail and ended the week 76 points (1.1%) down at 6,555. Still, the U.K. economy is tentatively recovering, and the long term FTSE trend does seem to be upward. Which stocks moved the most during the week? Here are four.

Pearson (LSE: PSON  )
Publisher Pearson released positive interim results on Friday, giving the share price a boost on the day and taking it up 66 pence (5.2%) over the week to 1,329 pence. On a constant exchange basis, sales were up 5% to 2.8 billion pounds. Adjusted operating profit did drop by 50 million pounds to 137 million, but that was partly due to 37 million pounds in restructuring charges and one-off costs associated with planned product launches.

Shire (LSE: SHP  )
Biotechnology and pharmaceuticals company Shire released pleasing first-quarter figures on Thursday, showing a 7% rise in product sales -- and double-digit growth in underlying earnings is anticipated for the full year. The market responded by pushing the share price to a 52-week high of 2,374 pence on the day, though it fell back a bit to end the week 83 pence (3.7%) up at 2,327 pence. The price has now gained more than 20% over the past 12 months, with strong earnings growth forecast for this year and next.

Croda International (LSE: CRDA  )
On Tuesday, specialty chemicals producer Croda International reported a 6.3% rise in first-half pre-tax profit, to 133 million pounds, and lifted its interim dividend by a very nice 8.4% to 29 pence per share. What happened to the share price in response? It fell, and ended the week 137 pence (5.4%) down to 2,415 pence. Croda stockholders have enjoyed a good few years, even if the price has been flat over the past 12 months, and we're most likely seeing the results of a stock that's been getting a bit toppy -- forecasts suggest a P/E of 18 for December 2013, with a dividend yield of a modest 2.5%.

ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM  )
The price of chip designer ARM Holdings has been somewhat volatile over the past 12 months, and though the company announced a 26% rise in its first-half dividend on Wednesday, the stock fell over the week, shedding 51.5 pence (5.7%) to end at 846 pence. Revenues were up by 26% to 171 million pounds in the second quarter, but one-off charges led to a 73% fall in reported pre-tax profit to 15 million pounds.

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