LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) isn't going anywhere fast right now, up just seven points on the day to 5,847, continuing the current sideways trend. How long it will be before it again reaches its 52-week high of 5,989 points remains to be seen, but at least it's close.
But regardless of where the overall index is going, individual companies just keep hitting new highs. Here are three that are soaring at the moment.
Beazley (ISE: BEZ.L)
Beazley Group is still bouncing around its recent high point, having nudged 170 pence again today, which is up 52% from its 52-week low of 112 pence, with the shares having stormed up since the end of June.
And the insurance underwriter's future is looking good as well, with City analysts forecasting a massive growth in earnings per share this year and a 5.6% dividend yield penciled in. Interim results in July looked good, and I see no reasons to doubt these full-year predictions.
Reckitt Benckiser (ISE: RB.L)
Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser Group has come very close to its recent 52-week high again, hitting 3,650 pence today before falling back to 3,618 pence. Even the current price is 17% up on the shares' 52-week low of 3,100 pence set last November, which is a pretty impressive performance for a 26 billion pound FTSE 100 behemoth.
But the bulk of the price rise might well be behind us now, as forecasts put the shares on a forward price-to-earnings ratio near the long-term FTSE average of 14, with a modest 3.6% dividend yield expected.
Lookers (ISE: LOOK.L)
Lookers regained its 52-week high of 73.5 pence yesterday and is trading just half a penny lower today at 73 pence. Shares in the motor dealership are up more than 50% since their December low point, and there could well be more to come: The shares are on a forecast P/E of around 10, which is not stretching.
At the halfway stage, reported in August, debt was tumbling, having fallen a further 12.7 million pounds to 26.8 million pounds -- which came on top of a 25.6 million pound reduction the year before. With a market cap of 270 million pounds, that level of debt is really not a problem.
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