LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) continued its climb today, closing 0.18% higher at 6,439 points after briefly touching yesterday's high. After the FTSE set a new record yesterday, some individual companies are following suit today. Here are three reaching new levels.
Shares in engineer Meggitt have soared since the firm reported strong full-year results on Tuesday, and today the price has reached a new 52-week high of 491 pence. The shares are now up 25% over the past 12 months and up more than fourfold since their 2009 low of 115 pence.
Earnings and dividends over the past five years have been growing, with the exception of a small earnings drop in 2009 and no change to the dividend that year. For 2013, flat earnings are forecast, putting the shares on a P/E of 13 -- but there's another dividend rise penciled in, and it should be well covered.
London Stock Exchange (LSE:LSE)
Shares in the London Stock Exchange hit a new 52-week high today of 1,409 pence on the occasion of the firm's promotion to its own top-tier index, though they have since dropped to 1,381 pence. With a market cap of about 3.8 billion pounds, the LSE stormed into the FTSE 100 in its latest quarterly reshuffle, along with budget airline easyJet.
The recent bull run in the markets has helped push the shares up nearly 50% over the past few months after a previously lackluster year. After two years of earnings growth, forecasts are suggesting a couple of flat years, with the shares on a P/E of 14 to 15.
Ashtead Group shares hit a new 52-week record of 593 pence today. Anyone who bought the shares a year ago has seen their investment more than double. The latest good news for the construction support group comes from third-quarter results released on Tuesday, revealing a 26% rise in revenue for the three months to January, a doubling of operating profit, and earnings per share up a massive 175%. Full-year profit should be ahead of previous expectations, with forecasts suggesting an overall 55% earnings rise to 27 pence per share. We shall have to wait to see where the next reratings put it.
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