LONDON -- Will the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) hit yet another new 52-week high today? It's looking increasingly unlikely, as the index has given up the day's earlier gains and gotten stuck in neutral. However, it's only yesterday that the index of top U.K. stocks broke the 6,200 barrier, and it looks like 6,300 could arrive soon.
There isn't much to be bullish about in the great global economy, other than optimistic murmurings starting to emanate from China, though Japan is still stuck in deflation. But what of individual constituents of the FTSE indexes? Here are three companies achieving new records of their own.
Old Mutual (LSE:OMU)
Savings and insurance giant Old Mutual ended on a new closing high of 186.8 pence yesterday, and it's above that today at 187.6 pence. The share price has powered up about 30% over the past 12 months.
After several years of falling earnings, the City is expecting a 60% rebound in earnings per share for the year to December, with further gains of about 10% per year for the next two years. That puts the shares on a price-to-earnings ratio of about 11, falling to nine by 2014, and there's a dividend yield of 3.3% expected for 2012, rising to 4.3% for 2014.
Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE:RBS) (NYSE:RBS)
When the down-and-out banks finally recovered, they were going to recover well. Royal Bank of Scotland has certainly done that, with its share price hitting a new 52-week record of 369.5 pence today. The price is back a little to 364 pence at the time of writing.
But for the real recovery, we need to look back to last July, when the shares were changing hands for just 196 pence. That's an 87% rise in just six months.
Engineering software specialist Aveva has had a storming year, reaching a new high of 2,233 pence today to take the price up more than 30% over the past 12 months. Apart from a dip in 2009, Aveva has been growing its earnings nicely. And though the actual yield has not been much above 1%, the dividend has been lifted steadily year by year.
Current forecasts see that continuing, with double-digit earnings growth penciled in for the next three years, and that dividend steadily growing. But Aveva is clearly priced as a growth share: March 2013 forecasts put the shares on a P/E of 29.
Daily gains from shares can all play their part in making you your first million. The real secret to becoming rich from shares is simple long-term investing in fundamentally sound companies and letting steady growth and dividends power your wealth upward. If you don't think making a million is feasible, read The Motley Fool report "10 Steps To Making A Million In The Market" and see if you change your mind. The report won't cost you a penny, so click here to have a copy delivered to your inbox while it's still available.
Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.