LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) was pushed down by miners and banks again today, falling 31 points to 5,744 by lunchtime. How long it will be before it tests its recent high of 5,989 points is anyone's guess, but at least it's staying reasonably close.
And even if the index of top U.K. shares isn't hitting new highs, individual companies are doing it every day. Here are three reaching for the sky this week.
888 (LSE: 888.L)
888 Holdings hit a new 52-week high today of 87 pence, beating the previous high of 82.75 pence set at the end of April. The reason for the boost today was the release of the online gambling firm's interim results, which recorded a 21% rise in revenue to $186.4 million, with the biggest individual gain of 72% coming from the company's poker offerings.
A pre-tax profit of $30.3 million was made, compared with a $15.5 million loss at the same stage last year, and the interim dividend was reinstated at 2.5 cents per share.
Dunelm (ISE: DNLM.L)
Dunelm Group, the bedding and soft furnishings supplier, hit a new high of 604.5 pence yesterday, adding to a year that has been good to shareholders. Today's price, a few pennies lower at 599.5 pence, represents a gain of around 45% since the firm's 52-week low set almost a year ago.
A recent trading update told us that the year to June has brought a 12% increase in annual turnover, the bulk of which came in the final quarter. Gross margins are expected to have risen as well. The Dunelm story adds to the feeling that the retail sector is getting back to health, though with forecast dividend yields of a modest 2.2% for this year and 2.5% next, the "screaming bargain" days are probably behind us.
Renishaw (ISE: RSW.L) Engineer Renishaw got a nice boost from the firm's preliminary results released in July, and the shares went on to reach a 52-week high of 1,598 pence on Aug. 21 before falling back a little, only to push back up to 1,575 pence yesterday.
A 15% increase in revenue to 331.9 million pounds, 7% rise in adjusted pre-tax profit, and 10% dividend boost to 38.5 pence per share all helped boost the shares from their November 2011 depths of just 800 pence, almost doubling shareholders' money. Forecasts are suggesting a modest dividend of 2.7% for next year.
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