Shares that like/dislike April

Shares that like April

The following table lists the five FTSE 350 shares that have the best returns in April over the last ten years. For example, Fenner has an average return of 9.11% for the month of April. All stocks have risen in April for at least eight of the past ten years.

Company TIDM Avg(%)
Fenner 9.1
Royal Dutch Shell 5.4
Aberdeen Asset Management 4.6
Severn Trent 3.9
SABMiller 3.6

Shares that dislike April

The following table lists the four FTSE 350 shares that have the worst returns in April over the last ten years. For example, Balfour Beatty has an average return of -4.4% for the month of April. All four stocks have fallen in at least eight of the past ten years in April.

Company TIDM Avg(%)
Balfour Beatty -4.4
Reed Elsevier -2.3
BAE Systems -1.6
UNITE Group 0.6

An equally-weighted portfolio of the above strong April stocks would have out-performed every year an equally-weighted portfolio of the above weak April stocks by an average of 7.3 percentage points in April for the past ten years.

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FTSE 100 Index – 30 years old today

The FTSE 100 Index was launched on 3 January 1984. The market capitalisation weighted FTSE 100 index replaced the price-weighted FT30 Index as the performance benchmark for most investors.

Price performance

The following chart shows the price performance of the FTSE 100 Index 1984-2013. A simple linear trendline has been added.

FTSE 100 Index [1984-2013] with trendlineThe index was launched in 1984 with a value of 1000 and closed 2013 at 6749. This is an increase of 575% over the 30 years, giving an annual growth of 6.57%.

The trendline calculates a value of 6695 for the end of 2013, which is just 54 points away from the actual value (less than 1% difference). As can be seen in the chart, the FTSE 100 Index is pretty much bang on its long-term (since 1984) trend.

Fascinating Footsie Facts

Number of companies in index 100
Market capitalisation, average (£m) 18,253
Market capitalisation, standard deviation 24,837
Share price, average (£) 12.93
Number of companies paying a dividend 96
Dividend yield, average (%) 2.92
Dividend yield, standard deviation 1.29
PE ratio, average 20.2
PE ratio, standard deviation 14.2
PEG, average 2.3
Turnover, average (£m) 14,674
Turnover growth last five years, average (%) 76.2
Turnover to capitalisation ratio, average 0.88
Number of companies making a profit 94
Profit, average (£m) 1,534
Profit growth last five years, average (%) 101.6
Profit / turnover, average (%) 16.9
Current ratio, average 1.29
Net cash, average (£m) 5838
Net cash, sum total (£m) 566,363
Price to net cash ratio, average 24.2
Net borrowings, average (£m) -1710
Net borrowings, sum total (£m) -165,902
Net gearing, average 1.00
Interest cover, average 70.0
ROCE, average (%) 50.1
ROCE, standard deviation 107.6

Original constituents

The following table shows the 30 original companies that are still in the Index today. (The 19 italicised companies have been in the index continuously since launch.)

Company TIDM
Associated British Foods
British American Tobacco
BAE Systems
Imperial Tobacco Group
Johnson Matthey
Land Securities Group
Legal & General Group
Lloyds Banking Group
Marks & Spencer Group
Reckitt Benckiser Group
Reed Elsevier
Rio Tinto
RBS Group
RSA Insurance Group
J Sainsbury
Royal Dutch Shell
Smith & Nephew
Standard Chartered

Largest companies

The following table compares the market capitalisations of the top five largest companies in the index in 1984 and today.

Rank (1984) Capital (£m) Rank (2013) Capital (£m)
1 British Petroleum Co. 7401 Royal Dutch Shell 140,695
2 Shell Trans. & Trad. Co. 6365 HSBC Holdings 124,728
3 General Electric Co. 4915 Vodafone Group 114,860
4 Imperial Chemical Industries 3917 BP 90,984
5 Marks & Spencer 2829 GlaxoSmithKline 78,252

Oil is still there today, but industrial, chemical and retail stocks have been replaced by bank, telecom and pharmaceutical stocks.

In 1984 the total market capitalisation of the index was £100 billion; at the end of 2013 the market capitalisation had grown to £1,824 billion.

It’s interesting to note that Shell’s market cap. today is 40% larger than the whole FTSE 100 Index in 1984.

Other references

FTSE 100 at 30 article in the Telegraph  by Martin Vander Weyer.

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BAE Systems [BA.] – 32 years on the LSE

On this day in 1981 BAE listed on the LSE.

The following chart plots the average monthly out-performance of the shares over the FTSE 100 Index since 1994. For example, on average BAE has out-performed the FTSE 100 by 1.3 percentage points in March.


  1. The strongest months for BAE relative to the market have been March and September (the shares have out-performed the market in September in 13 of the last 19 years).
  2. BAE shares have been weak relative to the market in October; the shares have only out-performed the market in October in seven of the past 19 years.


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Aerospace and Defense sector monthly seasonality analysis – strong March to May

The 2013 edition of the Almanac looks at the historic monthly performance of the FTSE 350 sectors. The following chart looks at the aerospace and defense sector.

The chart plots the average out-performance of the FTSE 350 aerospace and defense sector over the FTSE 100 Index since 1999. For example, since 1999 on average the aerospace and defense sector has out-performed the FTSE Index by 0.9 percentage points in January.


  1. The strongest month for the aerospace and defense sector relative to the whole market has been March, while the weakest has been November.
  2. The sector is generally stronger in the first half of the year, after which performance tails off.

The eight stocks in the FTSE 350 Aerospace and Defense sector [NMX2710] are:

BAE Systems [BA.] Qinetiq [QQ.]
Chemring Group [CHG] Rolls-Royce [RR.]
Cobham [COB] Senior [SNR]
Meggitt [MGGT] Ultra Elec. [ULE]



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