3 FTSE 100 Shares Hitting New Highs

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 is down from the 52-week high of 6,534 points it set on March 12, having dropped 0.49% today to close at 6,458 after markets were shaken by the proposed bailout of Cyprus and its associated one-off tax on bank deposits.

But even if the index is off its high, there are still individual companies setting new 52-week records. Here are three FTSE 100 names that did just that today.

Diageo
Diageo shares are hovering around a 52-week high, having gained more than 30% over the past 12 months. Today the price finished at 2,013 pence, which is just a few pennies short of the high of 2,023 pence it briefly touched on Friday.


Last week the drinks firm announced plans to target savings of 60 million pounds a year through reorganizing its supply chain operations as "a consequence of increasing presence in new faster growth markets." Forecasts for the year to June 2013 put the shares on a P/E of about 20, with 9% earnings-per-share growth expected.

BAE Systems
Fool Beginners' Portfolio constituent BAE Systems saw its shares hit a 52-week record today of 384 pence, taking the price up more than 40% since last summer's lows -- and up 17% since a month ago.

A fall in earnings for the year to December 2012 put the shares on a P/E of only 8.7, but a dividend of 19.5 pence per share provides a trailing yield of 5.8%. Forecasts for this year call for a 10% rise in earnings to give a forward P/E of nine, and an expected twice-covered dividend of 20.4 pence per share represents a yield of 5.3% at the current price.

Home Retail
The recovery at Home Retail is going strong, with the shares reaching a new closing high of 155 pence on Friday and then rising above that to 156.5 pence today. The price is up nearly 30% over the past two weeks, driven by a forecast-busting performance from the group's Argos chain that should yield better-than-expected profits for the full year.

The firm's Homebase chain is struggling a bit, however, with turnover for the year down nearly 5%, but that was largely expected. Earnings are going to fall around 25% this year, but a return to rising profits is already forecast for 2014.

Even if your shares aren't hitting new 52-week highs, dividends can add nicely to your investment returns -- they can be spent or reinvested according to your needs. Whether you're investing for income or growth, good old cash is always welcome. And that's why I recommend the brand-new Fool report "The Motley Fool's Top Income Share For 2013," in which our top analysts identify a share they believe will provide handsome dividend income for years to come. The report will be available for a limited period only, so click here to receive your copy today.

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The article 3 FTSE 100 Shares Hitting New Highs originally appeared on Fool.com.

Alan Oscroft has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Diageo. 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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