3 FTSE Shares Hitting New Highs

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LONDON -- It's another down day for the FTSE 100 today, with the U.K.'s top-tier index falling 0.73% to 6,253 points as of 8:15 a.m. EDT. Fears seem to be spreading round the world these days, with a big drop in Japan's Nikkei index preceding today's FTSE fall.

With the U.K.'s biggest shares largely on a downer, we have to turn to smaller-cap companies to look for new record share prices. Here are three that are breaking new ground.

In late 2011, Mothercare was looking pretty bad, but since then a recovery plan at the mothers-and-babies retailer has led to a tripling of the share price. And today the price hit a 52-week record of 387.4 pence.

The company still recorded a statutory pre-tax loss of £21.5 million for the year to March 2013, but once adjusted for exceptional items, that turned into an underlying profit of £8.3 million, with underlying earnings per share of 6.2 pence. For the coming year, the City is forecasting a pre-tax profit of about £14 million, and we might even have a return to dividends.

Hilton Food
Hilton Food Group has also had a good year, with the shares up nearly 40% to a 52-week high of 362.8 pence today -- almost all of that gain having come since the start of 2013. Results for the year ending December 2012 showed flat earnings, but the firm paid a twice-covered dividend of 12 pence per share to yield 4.5%.

Forecasts for 2013 suggest a 6% rise in earnings, and there's also a 7% rise in the dividend on the cards -- though with the strong share-price rise, the yield should fall to around 3.7%. As of Hilton's May 15 update, things are going in line with expectations.

Young & Co
I'm always pleased to see brewers and pub operators doing well, and that includes Young & Co's Brewery, which has brought home a 35% share price rise over the past 12 months to hit a new high of 835 pence today.

Young reported an 8.2% rise in revenue in May, for the year to April 1 and turned that into a 13% rise in adjusted pre-tax profit to £24.1 million. Adjusted EPS also rose by 13% to 37.77 pence, and the firm paid a dividend of 14.63 pence per share for a modest 2% yield.

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The article 3 FTSE Shares Hitting New Highs originally appeared on Fool.com.

Alan Oscroft has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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