3 FTSE 100 Shares Hitting New Highs


LONDON -- After the FTSE 100 set a new 52-week high of 6,876 points last Wednesday, markets went into an end-of-week panic and the Footsie fell back. Yesterday's 108-point rise brought it close to that record again, but so far today the index of top U.K. shares has all but wiped out yesterday's gains, down 103 points to 6,659 as of 8:30 a.m. EDT.

Among the ups and downs, a number of FTSE 100 shares are themselves reaching new highs. We take a quick look at three of them.

Reckitt Benckiser
Shares in Reckitt Benckiser Group finished on a 52-week closing high of 4,921 pence yesterday, which saw the price achieve a gain of more than 40% over the past 12 months -- and that's pretty staggering for a £35 billion FTSE 100 company. The price has fallen back 1.8% from that level as I write, but shareholders should still be pretty happy.

Such a rise does come at a price, though, as it has pushed the shares to a forward P/E of 18 based on current consensus forecasts, with an expected dividend yield of only 2.9% -- compared to a FTSE average P/E of about 14 with a 3.1% yield.

ITV shares have had a cracking year too, gaining more than 60% over the past year and coming within a penny of their recent 52-week record with a high of 134 pence yesterday -- though they're down to 134 pence so far today.

ITV has rewarded investors with rising earnings since the dark days of 2009, and there is more of the same forecast for the year to December 2013. Forecasts of a 9% rise in earnings per share put ITV shares on a forward P/E of 13, which does not look excessive, and the dividend yield looks likely to be around 2.8%.

Aberdeen Asset Management
Investment manager Aberdeen Asset Management saw its shares reach a 52-week closing record of 492 pence yesterday before falling back today to 477 pence. At the current price, the shares have almost doubled over the past 12 months, with the firm having posted strong earnings growth each year since 2009. For the year to September 2012, we saw a 22% rise in EPS and a dividend yield of 3.7%, and we have something similar forecast for the next two years.

For 2013, the City is expecting a further 22% EPS rise and a 30% rise in the dividend. The doubled share price would bring that down to a yield of 3.1%, but forecasts for 2014 suggest a P/E of only 14 and a dividend yield rising back to 3.8%.

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The article 3 FTSE 100 Shares Hitting New Highs originally appeared on Fool.com.

Alan Oscroft has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Reckitt Benckiser Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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