LONDON -- After 10 days of finishing above 6,100, the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) is set to close above 6,200 today, having reached yet another 52-week high of 6,265 points by 10:45 a.m. EST.
The index was lifted by rises across the mining sector and rumors of a possible sale of Vodafone's stake in Verizon, which made the mobile-communications giant the biggest riser in the FTSE 100 on the day.
In line with the market's recent bullish run, numerous companies in the various FTSE indexes are also climbing to new heights every day. We look at three achieving new records today:
William Hill (LSE:WMH)
William Hill shares reached a new 52-week record of 365 pence today before dropping back a little to 362 pence -- but they're still up 1.6% on the day. Over the past year, the share price has climbed by 60%, as the whole sector has been recovering strongly.
October's third-quarter update told of strong progress, with net revenue up 9% and operating profit up 26%. Current expectations for the year to December 2012 suggest a 14% boost to earnings per share for the year, with a 3.2% dividend in the cards. The shares are valued, by those estimates, at a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.
Shares in Halma are trading above their highest 52-week close, at 465 pence, having gained more than 30% over the past 12 months. The industrial-safety specialist has been enjoying double-digit growth in earnings per share over the past few years, and it has also been steadily lifting its dividend. Price appreciation, however, has actually reduced the dividend yield to about 2.5%, as the shares have tripled since early 2009.
Forecasts for the next few years are slightly lower, with 7% earnings growth expected by City analysts, but dividends are set to continue their annual growth.
Topps Tiles (LSE:TPT)
Topps Tiles has had a great year, with its shares up more than 75% over the past 12 months, today exceeding their previous highest close to reach 55 pence. After years of falling earnings, the turnaround finally appears to be on, with forecasts for the year to September 2013 indicating 4% earnings growth, growing to 10% the following year.
That puts the shares on a forward P/E of a little more than 10 for 2013, falling to 9.4 for 2014. There are also growing dividends expected with a yield of about 3%, which should be more than three times covered by earnings.
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