4 financial stocks rocketing to new highs

As investors prepare to assess their portfolios’ performance over the period to 31 December 2013 against a benchmark such as the S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO), there are a number of stocks making new 52-week highs for them to consider. Within the financial services sector here are four companies whose share prices are marching higher in the final days of the year.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (ASX: BEN)

The second-tier bank is up nearly 8% over the past two weeks and is currently trading just under its new 52-week high of $11.92. Equally as impressive, the stock has rallied 37% over the course of 2013, thereby outperforming all of its peers with the exception of National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB).

Henderson Group (ASX: HGG)

The UK-based fund manager has been a popular stock amongst investors in 2013. Relatively unfollowed since its demerger from AMP (ASX: AMP), Henderson has enjoyed significant investor support throughout the year. The stock is up over 100% in 2013, which includes a 13% gain achieved in the final two weeks of December.

NIB Holdings (ASX: NHF)

The only listed private health insurer looks set to finish 2013 on a strong note. The stock touched a new high of $2.70 last week, which is not only a 52-week high but also a record all-time high. NIB’s share price has gained around 32% during the calendar year and has enjoyed more support since the insurer announced an average increase in premiums of 7.99% across all its products.

Perpetual (ASX: PPT)

The highly regarded money management firm has seen its shares touch a new 52-week high of $48.50. The stock price was last at these levels in 2008, as the Global Financial Crisis was sweeping through. A buoyant stock market and renewed investor enthusiasm is providing a good tailwind for Perpetual’s business given its leverage to higher levels of funds under management.

Foolish takeaway

While value investors will often scour the ‘new lows’ list looking for opportunities in beaten-up stocks, growth investors are probably more likely to be scouring the ‘new highs’ list. Given great investment ideas can be found in many places, investors are best off casting a wide net in their search for ideas.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur owns shares in Henderson Group and NIB holdings.

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