The S&P ASX All Ordinaries Index (ASX: ^XAO) hit a new 52-week high of 5,500 last week. Unemployment figures were down on the news that a net 18,100 jobs were created in March. With GDP rising and consumer spending improving, the market is buoyant. The Aussie dollar climbed to 94 cents to the US$. Gold finished the week at US$1,313/oz.
Here are three of the ASX 100 stocks that set new 52-week highs during the past week.
Transurban Group (ASX: TCL) price: $7.18 new high: $7.47
The toll road infrastructure developer and manager announced its March quarter revenue was up 12.9% on the previous corresponding quarter. Its recent upgrade of the M2 motorway in Sydney helped revenue. Average traffic growth for two of its other toll roads and the Lane Cove Tunnel was up about 10% for the quarter.
Currently, the company is bidding for Queensland Motorways Ltd, which controls five of the six toll roads and tunnels in Brisbane, through a consortium with such businesses as Australian Super.
David Jones Limited (ASX: DJS) price: $3.93 new high: $4.00
Woolworths Holdings Limited (Johannesburg, WHL), based in South Africa, lobbed a $4 a share takeover bid for the department store, valuing the company at $2.15 billion. Just as David Jones was beginning to open up to a possible merger with Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR), the offer came out of nowhere, sending the share price up about 23% for the week.
The South African Woolworths is more like a department store company itself rather than the iconic supermarket retailer here in Australia. The company wants to become the largest department store business in the southern hemisphere. David Jones management has recommended the takeover offer, but is open to competing bids.
Lend Lease Group (ASX: LLC) price: $12.65 new high: $12.70
Deutsche Bank reaffirmed its buy rating on the property and infrastructure developer with a price target of $13.00. It won a $580 million contract to upgrade 23km of the Pacific Motorway in NSW.
In addition, it was named the preferred tenderer for the design and construction of the NorthConnex Motorway in Sydney. The project is estimated to be worth about $3 billion, with a construction budget of $2.65 billion. Approval from the NSW state government is required and work may begin in 2015.
I would be watching David Jones since the takeover offer is newly announced and may attract other potential bids as well as an improved bid from Myer Holdings, though that may be a financial strain.