LONDON -- The FTSE 100 hit yet another 52-week high today, closing 20 points up to 6,122. And we're a long way up now from the FTSE's 52-week low of 5,230 points. Will we ever see it that low again? Surely not!
When the FTSE indexes are reaching new heights, some of their constituents inevitably will be, too. Here are three pushing new records today.
Asset management and banking firm Schroders saw its shares rise 2.3% to reach a new 52-week high of 1,819 pence today. This takes the shares up 55% from their May 2012 low of 1,163 pence. That's pretty good going for an FTSE 100 company.
The price gain appears to reflect confidence in the next few years, as 2012 expectations put the shares on a price-to-earnings ratio of a relatively high 18, and that only falls to 14 by 2014 forecasts, bringing it back down near the long-term FTSE average.
Interserve, the construction support services company, has made a cracking start to the new year, with shares soaring by 8.7% since the start of January to reach a 52-week high of 434 pence today. And even after that impressive run, the price don't look stretched: Forecasts put the shares on a P/E of less than 10, with well-covered dividends of more than 5% forecast for 2012 and the next two years.
Another big winner of the past 12 months has been easyJet, whose shares have more than doubled since the start of 2012. The price had been hovering around a new high of 840 pence all week, and today the shares finally burst through that ceiling to hit 848 pence.
Since the revolt led by founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, easyJet has focused on providing shareholder value, more than doubling its 2012 full-year dividend to 21.5 pence per share. Payouts near that level are forecast for the next two years, with the shares on a P/E of about 12.
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