LONDON -- The FTSE 100
But that's not holding back our highflying companies, and we take a look at three hitting new 52-week highs today.
Dixons Retail has been through a dire spell but has been recovering nicely this year. So far the shares are up about 80% over the past 12 months and hit a new high of 19.6 pence today after the electronics retailer released an upbeat interim management statement for the three months to July.
Total sales were up 2%, with like-for-like sales up 5% over the quarter -- and in the U.K. and Ireland, like-for-like sales rose 7%. Online and other sales are going strongly, too, with multichannel volumes up 39% (48% in the U.K. and Ireland). While there's not much of a dividend in the cards yet, forecasts suggest a 30% rise in earnings for the year to April 2013 and a further 40% the next year.
Hotel and restaurant group Whitbread climbed to a high of 2,208 pence by midday on a very strong trading update that told us of an overall 14.8% rise in sales for the three months to August. The biggest boost, 25.3%, came from the company's Costa chain, but all divisions did well.
Whitbread says its growth program is on track, and we have full-year dividends of 2.6% and 2.9% forecast for the years to February 2013 and 2014, respectively. But with the shares on a prospective price-to-earnings ratio of 14, the price seems plenty high enough for now.
Builder Galliford Try hit a new high today, briefly reaching 657 pence before falling back a little to 652 pence by midday. On Monday the firm told us of a new 28 million pound construction contract awarded to its Scottish division, Morrison Construction, as part of a Moray Council flood defense project. But the shares have been rising anyway as a result of renewed confidence in the building and construction industry.
Even though they're 50% up over the past 12 months, forecasts still put the shares on a prospective dividend of 4.7% for this year, rising to 5.5% for 2013. Results for the year to June are expected on Sept. 19.
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