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FTSE Shares That Soared and Plunged This Week

By Alan Oscroft - Feb 8, 2014 at 10:45AM

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A look back at the week in London.

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) has been on a mini-slump during the past few weeks, but we saw a 61-point recovery this week to leave the U.K.'s biggest index on 6,572 points.

Macroeconomic fears still seem to be holding the market back, but we're getting some good results from top FTSE 100 companies coming through.

Here's a look at some of the week's ups and downs.

RSA Insurance (RSA)
The appointment of a new CEO gave RSA Insurance a boost, and it ended the week up 7.2 pence (7.4%) at 104.2 pence.

The new appointee is none other than Stephen Hester, who headed up a remarkably quick restructuring and recovery at the bailed-out Royal Bank of Scotland -- and many were surprised when he was ousted from that role.

RSA shares are down 20% over six months after the insurer was hit by irregularities in its Irish operations.

easyJet (EZJ 3.15%)
Budget airline easyJet had seen its soaring stock price start to fall back a little of late, but it's on the up again after the release of January passenger statistics. On the week, the price gained 84 pence (5.1%) to 1,728 pence, taking it back up to a 75% gain over 12 months.

The passenger count for January edged up 3.7% on the same month a year ago to top four million. And over a rolling 12-month period, the airline served 61.4 million passengers for a rise of 3.6%.

Hargreaves Lansdown (HL 1.42%)
Shares in Hargreaves Lansdown dropped 133 pence (9%) to finish Friday at 1,353 pence, despite the investment giant reporting record first-half revenue of 153 million pounds. That's a 13% rise, and pre-tax profit gained 11% to 104 million pounds. An interim dividend of 7 pence was announced, up 11%.

The recent Retail Distribution Review in the U.K. has forced a number of charges down, so that could have something to do with the price fall. But with the stock on a forward P/E of 37, we might just be looking at an overdue correction.

ARM Holdings (ARM)
At chip designer ARM Holdings, again we saw a combination of strong results and a price fall. With revenue for the year to December 2013 up 24% to 715 million pounds, pre-tax profit surged 32% to 364 million pounds. The dividend was lifted 27% to 5.7 pence per share, but that only yields 0.6%.

The price? Down 39 pence (4.2%) to 896 pence, putting the stock on a trailing P/E of 43 -- and even after the next two years of forecast earnings growth, that would drop to only around 30.

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Stocks Mentioned

ARM Holdings plc Stock Quote
ARM Holdings plc
ARM
RSA Insurance Group plc Stock Quote
RSA Insurance Group plc
RSA
Hargreaves Lansdown plc Stock Quote
Hargreaves Lansdown plc
HL
$857.20 (1.42%) $12.00
easyJet plc Stock Quote
easyJet plc
EZJ
$517.40 (3.15%) $15.80

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

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