Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

AstraZeneca plc (AZN) & More: Three FTSE Shares Hitting New Highs

LONDON — It’s little more than a month since the FTSE 100 set a new five-year record of 6,534 points on March 12. Yet after a few weeks of bearishness and some commentators even predicting a fall back below 6,000, that seems half a lifetime ago. Today the index of top U.K. shares is struggling to lift itself out of this week’s mire, and up just 0.33% to 2,265 points by 10:10 a.m. EDT.

But companies from the various FTSE indexes are breaking new ground. Here are three reaching new highs today.

AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN)AstraZeneca plc (LON:AZN)
AstraZeneca plc (LON:AZN) shares perked up again today, putting on another 1.4% to reach a 52-week high of 3,383 pence, though at the time of writing the price has fallen back a little. This latest boost comes ahead of a first-quarter update due next week, with hopes high that new chief Pascal Soriot can return the drugs giant to winning ways.

Profit fell last year, and there’s a drop in earnings per share forecast for 2013, but the shares are on a forward price-to-earnings ratio of a little less than 10, and there’s a dividend yield in excess of 5% expected.

Telecom plus PLC (LON:TEP)
Telecom plus PLC (LON:TEP) has been a huge success in recent years, with its shares up more than 70% over the past 12 months alone — and they have four-bagged over the past three years. Today the price hit yet another 52-week high of 1,205 pence and is now down just a few pennies from that peak.

It’s no real surprise that such an impressive growth share should be highly valued, and current expectations for the year to March suggest a P/E of more than 30 — and it will take two more years for forecasts to bring that down to 23. That seems pricey to me, but I’ve been wrong about Telecom Plus before, and the rise has gone on long after I had expected it to falter.

Barratt Developments Plc (LON:BDEV)
Homebuilding is still in the ascendency, with Barratt Developments Plc (LON:BDEV) shares pushing new highs almost daily. Today the price hit 297 pence for its latest 52-week high and is just 2 pence below that at the time of writing. Overall, the Barratt price has more than doubled in the past 12 months.

The valuation is pretty high now, with forecasts indicating a forward P/E of 21, and there’s not much dividend to speak of just yet. But Barratt shares are valued with a view to medium- to long-term expectations for the housing market, which are looking reasonably good.

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 has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Loading Comments...