LONDON -- A month or so ago, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) was looking like it might soon beat its 52-week high of 5,989 points. But since then we've seen U.S. markets fall on profitability fears and Europe slump on news that the eurozone is once again in recession. A new record level is looking increasingly further away as the index of top U.K. stocks languishes at 5,750 points.
Still, individual constituents of the various FTSE indexes are reaching new levels every day. Here are three that are flying.
Fresnillo (ISE: FRES.L)
Fresnillo reached new heights this week, climbing to a 12-month high of 1,980 pence. The precious-metals miner had previously seen its shares fall as low as 1,307 pence in the summer, when the allure of the shiny stuff seemed to be fading a little.
But the share price is up 45% since then, as precious-metals prices have been rising. There's still plenty of future growth built into today's share price, mind you, with current forecasts putting the shares on a price-to-earnings ratio of 30, which is more than twice the long-term FTSE average of about 14.
easyJet (ISE: EZJ.L)
Shares in low-cost airline easyJet reached a new 52-week high yesterday, closing at 692 pence before falling back a little to 682 pence today. Yesterday's spike, which took the shares up to double their year-low of 344 pence, came as a result of strong full-year results.
Now that the company is moving to a strategy of paying attractive dividends, rather than using its earnings to finance expansion in the cut-throat world of budget air travel, more and more investors are seeing it as less of a risk to own for the long term.
Ladbrokes (ISE: LAD.L)
Investing in gambling firms is a lot more profitable than betting in their shops, if the share price of Ladbrokes is anything to go by. Over the past year, the shares have climbed from a low of 121 pence just before the New Year to hit a 12-month high of 192 pence this week -- and we're just a penny off that today at 191 pence. That's a climb of nearly 60%.
Ladbrokes is a decent dividend-paying share as well, with a forecast yield of 4.6% per year for the next two years. It looks like a much better use of your cash than blowing it on the nags.
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