LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) hasn't seen a new 52-week high since July 7, 2011, when it reached a level of 6,055 points. It then fell to a low of 4,944, on Oct. 4 before bouncing up and down to reach 5,680 today.
How long it will be before it crosses the 6,000 mark again is anyone's guess, but there are individual companies within the FTSE indexes reaching new highs every day. Here are three that made it today.
Associated British Foods
Associated British Foods (ISE: ABF.L) has been a story of success so far this year, gaining nearly 20% over the past 12 months. It's been hitting new highs all month, and today it reached yet another one, climbing 1% to 1,299 pence in morning trading.
In fact, the strong run dates back to early 2009, when the shares were trading at 613 pence. Doubling in three years isn't bad at all. Looking forward, forecasts put them on a price-to-earnings ratio for the year of 15, falling to 13.5 for next year, which is close to the FTSE long-term average.
Aero engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings (ISE: RR.L) is another stock that just won't stop. It has powered all the way from 259 pence in 2009 to a new 52-week high of 894 pence this morning for a 1.5% rise on the day.
Full-year forecasts are strong, with the shares on a prospective P/E of 15, though the 2.3% dividend isn't so big. If new contract progress can continue at the rate it has over the past year, we could be seeing more good times ahead.
Distributor and outsourcer Bunzl (ISE: BNZL.L) is our third today, having reached a new high of 1,079 pence for a 6 pence rise on the day.
The firm, which distributes a range of consumable products including food packaging, cleaning and hygiene supplies, protective equipment, and carrier bags, has also had a good few years. It has more than doubled from its 2009 low of 482 pence.
Finally, if you want to find shares that have a good chance of reaching new highs over the longer term, the free report "Top Sectors for 2012," put together by The Motley Fool's top analysts, should give you some ideas of where to look.
Are you looking to profit as a long-term investor? "Ten Steps To Making A Million In The Market" is the latest Motley Fool guide to help Britain invest. Better. We urge you to read the report today -- while it's still free and available.
Further Motley Fool investment opportunities:
At the time thisarticle was published Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.