3 FTSE Shares Hitting New Highs


LONDON -- With the FTSE 100 down 564 points from its May 22 high of 6,876, up 0.11% for the day to 6,311 as of 8:25 a.m. EDT, it might seem strange to be talking of record prices. But the U.K.'s top index is still up 16% over the past 12 months, which in most years would be considered a cracking performance, and there are individual shares constantly breaking new ground.

So here are three shares from the various indexes that are setting new records today.

Whitbread is having a great week, with its shares climbing further to reach a new 52-week high of 2,967 pence today -- though they're back to 2,919 pence at the time of writing. Shares in the owner of the U.K.'s Costa Coffee and Premier Inn chains are now up 60% over the past 12 months.

After posting three straight years of double-digit growth in earnings per share, Whitbread is forecast to do the same for the next two years -- and with that kind of growth expected, a forward P/E of 17.5 might well be justified. Dividends are on the up, too, but the yield on offer is only a little more than 2%.

Software and control systems specialist Invensys has seen its share price more than double over the past year, reaching a 52-week high of 411.8 pence today. Emerging from a tough spell, Invensys told us last month that the 12 months to March 31 had been a "transformational year" for the company: Operating profit shot up 41%, and underlying EPS soared 60% to 8.5 pence.

With another strong recovery year forecast for March 2014, the shares are on a forward P/E of 25, so there's a fair bit of future performance already built into the price.

PayPoint shares reached 1,000 pence for the first time yesterday, turning the consumer payment firm into a near-four-bagger since its low point in early 2010. Earnings have been rising steadily since then, too, as have dividends -- though the share price growth has lowered the yield from about 6% to about 3.5%.

But with forecasts for the next two years looking good, with respective earnings rises of 12% and 10% forecast, the future looks all right.

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

Alan Oscroft has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of PayPoint. 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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