Next (LSE: NXT), ITV (LSE: ITV) and Intertek (LSE: ITRK) are soaring.
The FTSE 100 (UKX) has been falling away from its 52-week high of 5,989 in recent weeks, dropping another 62 points today to 5,723, as global economic sentiment turns negative again. But the index is still quite some way above its 52-week low of 5,075.
Yet individual companies in the FTSE indices continue to hit new heights every day. Here are three shares that have reached fresh peaks of late:
High street suffering? You wouldn't think so if you took a look at Next (LSE: NXT), the fashion maestro whose shares are pushing a 52-week high. The price actually reached 3,644p at the start of September before falling back a bit, but it's returned above the £36 mark again, at 3,615p as I write.
That's a steady rise from a low of 858p in late 2009, for a better-than-four-bagger rise in just three years. The lesson? Sector sentiment is just short-term noise, but concentrating on quality companies is what gets you the big money.
Broadcaster ITV (LSE: ITV) is having a great time, too, having spiked up today to a new 52-week high of 96.3p, taking the shares up 45% over the past twelve months. ITV has had a couple of erratic years, with fears about the long-term reliability of advertising revenues causing angst, but this share has still provided investors with a five-bagger since early 2009.
And the shares still don't look too expensive, with forecasts suggesting a price to earnings (P/E) ratio of around 11 for this year and next, and a dividend yield of 3% or so is on the cards.
Intertek (LSE: ITRK) provides testing and safety services to a wide range of businesses worldwide. Does that sound like a good business? It clearly looks that way, as the Intertek share price has soared more than four-fold since late 2009, to 2,857p today. It's also close to its 52-week high of 2,936p. Looking at the group's earnings, Intertek is clearly priced as a growth stock.
Investigating companies like these really reinforces the idea that the time to buy shares is when everyone else is scared and selling -- the 2008-9 bottom was a dream come true for those seeking their first million from the stock market.
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> Alan Oscroft does not own any shares mentioned in this article.