4 FTSE Shares Hitting New Highs This Week

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) , at 5,610 points, has come a long way since its 52-week low point of 4,944 on Oct. 4, 2011. But it's still got a bit to go to regain its 52-week high of 5,966 points, which it reached on March 16, 2012.

But individual companies are hitting new highs each day. Here are three from the FTSE indices that were reaching for the sky this week.

Drinks maker Diageo (ISE: DGE.L) hit a new 52-week high of 1,679.5 pence Wednesday, coming back down a bit to 1,657 pence today. That's around 30% up on the year, with earnings per share growth of approximately 10% forecast for this year and next.

And from its low point of 733 pence in 2009, the shares have more than doubled over just three years. What is it that makes Diageo so attractive? Elissa Bayer, director at wealth manager Williams de Broe, had some kind words to say about it in this week's chat with Fool analyst David Kuo.

A 52-week high from a high-street department store? Yes, that's what Debenhams (ISE: DEB.L) achieved Tuesday, seeing its shares touch 89.9 pence.

They're currently down a little from that at 87 pence, but even after a 30% rise this year, they're still on a forward price-to-earnings ratio of only 9.5 based on full-year forecasts. The expected dividend yield is a modest 3.5%, but it should be three times covered.

In this sector, I'm going to choose two -- but they are so closely related they're hard to split. Both British American Tobacco (ISE: BATS.L) and Imperial Tobacco (ISE: IMT.L) hit new highs Tuesday, reaching 3,401.5 pence and 2,629 pence respectively.

That puts both shares up around 20% on the year, but the fundamentals still don't make them look expensive. British American and Imperial shares are on equal forecast dividend yields of 4.1% for this year, rising to 4.5% next.

Don't fancy tobacco as a sector? Well, if you want to find other shares that have a good chance of reaching new highs over the longer term, the free report "Top Sectors Of 2012", put together by The Motley Fool's top analysts, should give you some ideas of where to look.

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At the time thisarticle was published Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.
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