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3 FTSE Shares Hitting New Highs

By Alan Oscroft - Apr 2, 2013 at 12:22PM

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BAE Systems, easyJet, and Rolls-Royce set new records.

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) seems to have shrugged off the effects of the Cyprus banking crisis today, putting on 1.2% to close at 6,491 points -- not too far from its five-year high of 6,534 set on March 12. A jump in Vodafone shares helped today after rumors once again surfaced of U.S. telecoms firms Verizon and AT&T planning a takeover.

But whatever comes of such talk, there are plenty of other companies doing well. Here are three breaking new ground today.

BAE Systems (LSE: BA) (BAES.Y 0.00%)
BAE Systems shares have made a great start to 2013 so far, climbing to a new 52-week high today of 398 pence before dropping back to close at 396 pence. That's an 18% rise since the start of January and a 47% gain since last June's lows of around 270 pence.

For the current year to December, analysts are forecasting an earnings rise of about 10% for BAE, putting the shares on a modest price-to-earnings ratio of nine, with a dividend yield of about 5% forecast. Forecasts for 2014 are currently flat.

easyJet (EZJ 1.41%)
Shares in easyJet have been storming ahead over the past year, more than doubling to reach a new 52-week closing peak of 1,128 pence today. Entering the FTSE 100 in the most recent reshuffle in March helped, as index trackers were forced to buy the shares.

After the rise, we're looking at a forward P/E of 14 for the year to September based on current forecasts. That rating is pretty much bang on the FTSE 100 long-term average, but considering the risky nature of the airline business, some may see the current price as a bit toppy.

Rolls-Royce (RR 0.54%)
We have a second engineering firm among our record-breakers today, with Rolls-Royce Holdings shares hitting an annual high of 1,143 pence this morning before slipping back to 1,135 pence at the close.

The aero engine maker has had a couple of good years, with earnings-per-share growth exceeding 20% for 2011 and 2012. That growth looks set to continue this year, albeit at a slightly slower pace, with 11% currently predicted. The dividend, which has been steadily raised year on year, looks set to yield about 2%.

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Stocks Mentioned

Rolls-Royce Holdings plc Stock Quote
Rolls-Royce Holdings plc
$86.91 (0.54%) $0.47
easyJet plc Stock Quote
easyJet plc
$532.00 (1.41%) $7.40
BAE Systems Stock Quote
BAE Systems
$39.03 (0.00%) $0.00

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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