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Santos Ltd (ASX:STO) among 3 at 52-week highs

While the S&P/ASX 200 struggles along – down 4.5 points to 6,182 at the time of writing, these three companies are hitting 52-week highs.

Here’s some insight into why.

Scottish Pacific Group Ltd (ASX: SCO)

Shares in financial services company Scottish Pacific Group Ltd are up again today – at an all-time high of $4.32 at the time of writing after emerging from a trading halt last week pending the announcement of a takeover by Affinity Equity Partners.

Scottish Pacific’s board has endorsed the Scheme and recommended shareholders vote in favour of the takeover – valued at $630 million.

Under the Scheme shareholders will receive $4.40 per share in cash, and if approved, the Scheme will be implemented in late December.

Affinity is an Asian private equity firm.

Scottish Pacific booked strong FY18 results with NPAT of $29.4 million – up 17.4% and net revenue coming in at $108.6 million – up 8%.

Other players to watch in the consumer finance space include Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) and Eclipx Group Ltd (ASX: ECX).

Praemium Ltd (ASX: PPS)

Shares in investment administration company Praemium Ltd have slipped back slightly at the time of writing, down, 0.8% to $1.14, after finishing September 24 trade at a 52-week high of $1.15.

Praemium shareholders who bought in last year must be pleased with an astronomical uptick of around 182% in share price value since this time last year, with a recent move by Praemium chairman Barry Lewin to buy up 100,000 shares via on-market trade last week not hurting investor confidence either.

Praemium managed to grow its funds under administration by 35% to close off FY18, with its annual results also revealing a revenue increase of 22% to $43.2 million.

Looking forward, Praemium is focused on growing its global presence – leveraging off its pensions expertise in the UK, and regulatory approval to sell its Smartfund range to Middle Eastern markets.

Santos Ltd (ASX: STO)

Shares in natural gas producer Santos Ltd have zoomed up a further 3% in morning trade to sit at a 52-week high of $7.35 at the time of writing.

Energy sector stocks have surged upwards lately off the back of oil price rises with Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) up 3.1% and 2.2% respectively today after a series of rises.

Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) is also on the incline, with Oil Search shares not quite hitting a 52-week high like Santos, but not far off, up 2% at the time of writing to $8.91.

Earlier this month Santos completed the sale of non-core Asian assets to Ophir Energy plc for cash proceeds of US$144 million which allowed the company to reduce net debt to US $2.2 billion.

In late August, Santos revealed a doubling of its underlying profit to $217 million and the reinstatement of dividends for the first time since 2016.

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Motley Fool contributor Carin Pickworth has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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