You'd have done well with Persimmon (LSE: PSN) and Dixons (LSE: DXNS) shares last month.
June was a relatively good month for the FTSE 100 (UKX), as it regained some of its past fall. From a level of 5,321 at the end of May, it finished June 250 points ahead on 5,571, for a 4.7% gain.
Here we look at some of the June's stock market stars. As usual with these monthly reviews, we're not necessarily interested in the biggest percentage gainers -- we're trying to find companies that still look decent value and could build on June's gains in the months and years to come.
Housebuilder Persimmon (LSE: PSN) had a very nice June, and saw its share price rise from 568p at the end of May to 609p last Friday, for a 7% gain. And it's up further today -- another 2.6% to 625p at the time of writing.
The reason is the general turnaround in sentiment towards the housebuilding sector, which has seemed undervalued to me for some time. Current forecasts for Persimmon suggest more than 20% earnings per share (eps) growth for the year to December 2012, with 16% next year.
The shares are on a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of under 12 for 2013, which doesn't appear stretching, so this could be just the start.
Or if you'd prefer others in the sector, Barratt Developments (LSE: BDEV) gained 16% in June to 140p, Bovis Homes (LSE: BVS) rose 14% to 471p, and Redrow (LSE: RDW) put on 11% to 121p.
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Dixons Retail (LSE: DXNS) had a good month, too, with a nice boost of 4.1p to finish June on 18.3p -- up 30%. Better than expected results on 21 June removed a little of the high-street gloom from the shares. Okay, the gain only reversed the loss the shares made the previous month, but it looks like the start-stop-start-stop retail recovery could be finally bearing fruit.
Home Retail (LSE: HOME), the owner of Homebase and Argos, also had a healthy June after releasing an upbeat interim statement on 19 June, and ended the month up 8% on 84p.
And although Marks & Spencer (LSE: MKS) had a down month, losing 2% to 325p, Debenhams (LSE: DEB) gained 12% to 86.5p, so the recovery might be on -- and Dixons could be a nice part of it.
Telecoms provider TalkTalk (LSE: TALK) jumped 38p to 191p during June, for a whopping 25% gain, after a long period of not really going anywhere.
The Telecoms provider got a strong boost in May after releasing good results, which allowed it to raise its dividend by 20% and announce a plan to increase it by at last 15% per year for the next two years, taking it alongside others like BT (LSE: BT-A), which are targeting dividend growth.
TalkTalk's cheap broadband offering is also picking up customers, as it aggressively competes with BT and Virgin Media (LSE: VMED).
Shares in Provident Financial (LSE: PFG), which offers insurance, credit and other financial services to people considered sub-optimal by the high-street banks, are up more than 20% in the past year, and in June alone rose by 125p, or 11%, to reach 1,215p.
It's clearly a profitable business, and forecasts for the next two years are good. Estimates of eps growth are modest, but there's a 6.25 dividend yield forecast for December this year, rising to 6.7% next year. Despite past growth, the divided alone could still make it a profitable investment.
If you'd bought Rightmove (LSE: RMV) shares at the start of 2009, you'd be sitting on an eight-bagger today, after they climbed from under 200p to 1,607p.
June growth, up 126p (8.6%) to 1,592p, was more modest, but still nice. And sentiment for the online estate agent is pretty positive, despite the shares being on a lofty forward P/E of 28 for this year, falling to 24 based on 2013 forecasts.
But it's clearly a geared play on the housing market, and when it gets moving again, as house builder progress seems to indicate, there could be a big boost to business for Rightmove -- but it could still be a couple of years away.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.