LONDON -- Hopes that the FTSE 100 might beat its 52-week high of 5,989 points this week have been dashed, as the index of top U.K. stocks has slipped back by eight points to 5,922 as of 10:25 a.m. EST. Still, it surely can't be long now, and we can at least be fairly confident that it will not be heading back down to its 52-week low of 5,230 points anytime soon.
Still, even if the FTSE 100 didn't quite capture new ground, a number of constituents of the various indexes are doing so. Here are three of them.
Television broadcaster ITV has had a good year, with its shares up more than 60% over 12 months ago, and the price today is hovering around its 52-week high of 104 pence. The firm has had a couple of good years of profit growth, and looked good at the interim stage this year.
For the full year, the City is forecasting an earnings rise of around 10%, with the shares on a price-to-earnings (P/E) of about 12. There's not much dividend yet, at around a 2.5% yield, but that should hopefully improve with a few more years of profit growth.
Ladbrokes shares are up near their 52-week high, standing at 195 pence at the time of writing. That's around 60% on the year, which is pretty good going. The gambling operator's third-quarter update in October was positive, recording a 4% rise in group revenue, so full-year forecasts should be pretty accurate at this stage. They suggest a growth in earnings around 15%, with a dividend yield of about 4.4%, which looks pretty good.
Shares in Spirit Pub Company are flying high at the moment, having touched 64 pence today -- that's a penny short of their 52-week high and 60% up on 12 months ago. Spirit shares have done rather better than those of Punch Taverns since the split, with the latter having fallen by more than 30% over the same period.
Forecasts for next year put Spirit shares on a P/E of only 10, with a well-covered 3.3% dividend yield expected. So even after the rise, they might still be a good value -- but that's for you to decide.
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