LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) has slumped today, dropping 102 points, or 1.6%, to 6,293 as of 8:50 a.m. EST after closing yesterday on a new high of 6,395 points. The latest eurozone economic data is unexpectedly poor, wiping out earlier positive sentiment. Rather than the hoped-for return to growth this quarter, the signs suggest a contraction of 0.3%.
But even if the eurozone is looking weak, there are still plenty of individual FTSE companies whose share prices are flying. We look at three setting new records.
Shares in the chip designer have been on a steady rise since third-quarter results were released in October, putting on more than 60% in the subsequent four months. We've since had full-year results on Feb. 5 showing a 17% rise in revenue to 577 million pounds, with pre-tax profit up 20% to 276.5 million pounds and earnings per share up 18% to 14.7 pence.
Utility company shares are generally thought of as income investments that pay steady dividends. But Centrica, the owner of British Gas, has provided nearly 20% share price growth over the past 12 months too, with the price closing on a 52-week high of 354 pence yesterday.
The company paid a dividend yielding more than 5% in 2011, and there's a yield of 4.7% for the year to December 2012 currently being predicted by analysts -- results are due next week.
Telecom operator TalkTalk's shares have soared by more than 80% over the past year, reaching a new closing high of 261 pence yesterday, slightly down from an intraday high of 266 pence. And there's been strong fundamental performance behind the rise, with a 33% rise in EPS for the year to March 2012 and a dividend yield of 6.6%.
For the current year we have a small drop in EPS forecast, but there should still be a dividend of about 4% paid, with both earnings and dividends predicted to rise over the following two years. Results to March 31 are due on May 16.
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