3 FTSE Shares Hitting New Highs Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) has been falling back this week from the six-month high it set last week, and at the time of writing it stands at 5,859 points, down 34 points on the day. But that's still within easy striking distance of its 52-week high of 5,989 points, and we should probably expect that to be beaten before too long.

But however long it takes to make it, some individual companies aren't waiting around. Here are three constituents of the FTSE indexes that are hitting new highs today.

888(LSE: 888.L)
Online gaming provider 888 Holdings is trading back up around its 52-week high point this week, having closed yesterday at 92 pence, just a quarter of a penny below its Sept. 7 high. In between, it's dipped a few pennies, but the longer-term trend is definitely looking up: The shares have tripled since their 52-week low point of 30.25 pence set in October 2011.

To put that into perspective, the shares are still down on their 2006 precrash peak, but the turnaround came this year when the firm returned to profit at its interim stage, recording a pre-tax figure of $18.4 million. Full-year forecasts suggest a dividend yield of about 3%, rising a little next year.

Pan African (ISE: PAF.L)
Pan African Resources regained its 52-week high again this week, hitting 18.25 pence today for the third time this year. The African precious-metals miner has seen its shares rising well this year, and they're now up more than 60% from their 52-week low of 11.25 pence set last September.

Expectations for the year ended June suggest earnings per share of around 1.85 pence, and the 2013 forecast ups that to 3.2 pence with a dividend of 4.2% predicted.

James Halstead (ISE: JHD.L)
Shares in James Halstead hit a new high of 650 pence today before falling back to 640 pence, taking the price up 55% since its low point of 410 pence set last October. The flooring manufacturer told us in July that this year's annual performance should reach a new record. The City is expecting a 10% rise in earnings per share, but based on that, the shares are on a price-to-earnings ratio of more than 22, which is way above the FTSE long-term average of about 14.

Granted, the company has raised its dividend every year for the past 35 years, which is a remarkable performance, but with a prospective yield of only 2.5%, the shares don't look cheap to me.

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