LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (UKX) has been looking anaemic in recent weeks, and more likely to head back toward its 52-week low of 5,230 points than break its high of 5,989. But things look like they're picking up toward the end of this week, with the index of top U.K. stocks back up to 5,855 points as I write. Only another 134 to go.
But even if the FTSE 100 is still off its high, individual constituents of the various FTSE indices are reaching new levels every day. Here are three hitting new heights.
Bovis Homes (LSE:VTY) shares reached a new 52-week high of 554 pence today. That's 39% up from the year's low point of 399 pence set in June, and nearly double 2009's lowest price of 290 pence. The recovery across the sector has been a little erratic, but it's coming along nicely.
The Bovis share price represents a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 19 based on City forecasts for this year, but it's clearly based on a healthier longer-term housing market, and builders like Bovis have snapped up plenty of cheap land during the downturn to make the most of it.
Dairy Crest Group (LSE:DCG) also hit a new 52-week high today, of 368.5 pence, taking the shares up 27% since their low point of 290 pence in June after the price hit a slump. Looking at the bigger picture, the share price has been pretty flat over the past couple of years, but today's high is around 114% up since the dark days of December 2008.
Although there is a fall in earnings per share expected this year, the latest City forecasts for the year to March 2013 suggest a dividend yield of 5.8%, so the shares might be worth considering just for that.
IMI (LSE:IMI) is another company that has had a rocky time this year, with its shares falling to 776 pence in July. But the price has recovered to hit a new 52-week today of 1,033p, 33% up on that July price and 45% up on its 12-month low of 711 pence set in December.
Over the longer term, today's new high represents a 4.6-fold growth from 2009's low point of 226 pence, and forecasts still put the shares on a fairly undemanding P/E of 12, with a dividend yield of over 3% expected. Who says British engineering is dead?
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