LONDON -- The FTSE 100 has risen for four weeks in a row now, putting on 86 points to close Friday at 6,631. Sentiment was mixed during the week, but some positive earnings and an improving outlook from China helped -- the latter was supported by upbeat production reports from several big miners. We're getting ever closer to the FTSE's 13-year record of 6,876 points too, set in May.
But which were the big movers? Here are two winners and two losers from the week.
Sports Direct International (LSE:SPD)
Sports Direct International has had a storming week, with its stock price gaining 80 pence (14%) to end Friday on 648 pence, boosted by an impressive set of full-year results released on Thursday. Sales rose by 21% to 2.2 billion pounds, with pre-tax profit up 40% to 207 million. A good year for British sport, including the London Olympics, certainly helped, but the company is also expanding nicely into other European countries. The Sports Direct price is now up 120% over the past 12 months and has come a long way from its 2008 lows of around the 35 pence level.
Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE:RBS)
The recent Royal Bank of Scotland mini-surge continued this week, with the bank's share price gaining 33 pence (11%) to 337 pence. The price has been higher, mind -- back in January it touched 370 pence. There's been no specific news this week, but the two banks -- RBS and Lloyds Banking Group -- in which the U.K. government owns a big slice are very much in investors' minds right now as reprivatization gets closer. With a return to profit forecast for RBS this year, we're looking at a forward P/E of around 16, but that drops to 11 based on 2014 estimates.
Shares in online supermarket Ocado slipped back this week, falling 22 pence to 321 pence, for a 6.3% fall. But overall, the company has had a great year so far, with the price having quadrupled following an earlier slump. An agreement with Wm Morrison Supermarkets to provide the technology and expertise to get its online offering off the ground, together with a 15% rise in Ocado's first-half sales, has helped convinced the naysayers that the company has a good future.
Imperial Tobacco (LSE:IMB)
Imperial Tobacco shares have been falling all year and last week lost a further 70 pence (3.1%) to 2,180 pence. Half of that was down to an interim ex-dividend drop of 35 pence, but the company has seen its price fall around 13% over the past 12 months while rival British American Tobacco has gained a little over the year. Imperial has been growing its earnings and raising its dividend regularly and is offering a yield of 5.2% this year, with the shares at a P/E of only 10.5. It could be a bargain.
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