LONDON -- After yesterday's strong support for the euro from the European Central Bank, the FTSE 100
And it's been a great week for individual FTSE index constituents, too, with new highs being regularly achieved. Here are three companies that accomplished the feat today:
Moneysupermarket.com has had a strong, if intermittent, 12 months, but its shares have powered up since May, hitting a new 52-week high of 147 pence today. The acquisition of MoneySavingExpert, announced in August, gave the shares a big boost, and they're now up nearly 30% over last year.
Forecasts put the shares on a relatively high price to earnings ratio of 18 for the full year to December, but that falls to 15 on 2013 expectations, and there's an expected dividend of 3.8%, rising to 4.4% for next year.
Online fashion retailer ASOS is back to its old ways, hitting new highs once again. The shares are still far short of the peaks reached in mid-2011, but at 1,973 pence (and having hit a new high of 1,995 pence earlier in the day), they're up nearly 75% from their 12-month low set in December.
July's trading statement showed overall sales up 31%, and after the company changed its year-end, we're due a further update on Sept. 18 for the three months to August. The firm's latest figures were good, but they need to be, with forecasts putting the shares on a forward P/E of a rather heady 40 -- nearly three times the long-term FTSE average of around 14.
Legal & General
In a further sign of the strengthening recovery in the financial sector, Legal & General matched its 52-week high of 135 pence today. The shares had previously reached the same level back in March before falling back to 106 pence by the end of May.
However, the insurer's half-year report on Aug. 7 was positive, showing a 14% rise in earnings per share and an 18% boost to the firm's interim dividend. Expectations for the second half put the shares on a year-end P/E of only 9.5, with a forecast dividend of 5.8%, and 2013 forecasts see those figures moving to nine and 6.3%, respectively. The shares are on a high, but they might still be cheap.
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