LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) has dropped 24 points from yesterday's close to hit 6,271 as of 8:05 a.m. EST. Sentiment seems to be torn between global economic optimism and the recognition that eurozone woes have not gone away.
But that's not holding back some of our highflying companies. Here are three constituents of the various FTSE indexes that are setting new records today.
BSkyB (LSE:SKY) (NASDAQOTH: BSYBY)
British Sky Broadcasting has been on a roll despite the formation of a seriously large U.K. rival following the takeover of Virgin Media by Liberty Global. BSkyB shares are up nearly 20% over the past 12 months and have today beaten their 52-week closing high of 825.5 pence to reach 826.9 pence -- though as I write, the price is down a bit from that at 821 pence.
Half-year results released at the end of January showed a 5% rise in revenue with an 18% boost to adjusted earnings per share, enabling the firm to lift its interim dividend by 20% to 11 pence. Full-year forecasts for June 2013 put the shares on a P/E of 14.4 with a dividend yield of 3.4%.
As we enter a month that will bring us results from a number of the U.K.'s homebuilders, the whole sector is doing well. Bovis Homes closed on a new 52-week high of 640 pence yesterday, and today it's ahead of that at 646.5 pence.
Like a number of others in the sector, Bovis' shares are on a relatively high P/E multiple, based on December 2012 expectations, of more than 22. But that reflects improving forward-looking sentiments, with forecasts suggesting earnings-per-share growth of nearly 40% this year and 25% next. That brings the P/E for 2014 down to a level of 13, which is closer to the long-term FTSE average of 14.
Shares in Bellway have beaten Bovis over the past 12 months, rising nearly 50% to reach a high of 1,175 pence this morning before falling back a little to 1,154 at the time of writing.
After earnings recovered for three years with growth averaging about 50% a year, we have further growth of about 20% a year forecast for this year and next. Based on forecasts for July 2013, the shares are on a forward P/E of 14, falling to 12 for 2014. And dividends are starting to creep up, with yields of 2.1% forecast for this year, rising to 2.6% for next.
Coming out of a recession when depressed share prices are rising, the odds can be tipped in favor of growth investors -- and we've seen strong share-price rises for two of the three companies featured here today. But finding the best growth shares is not easy.
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