3 Shares Set To Beat The FTSE Today

Published in Investing on 6 September 2012

Morrisons (LSE: MRW) is looking good at interim time, and Lamprell (LSE: LAM) expands eastwards.

The FTSE 100 (UKX) finally bounced back a little after days of sliding, rising 30 points to 5,688 by mid-morning, with expectations running high that European Central Bank president Mario Draghi will unveil plans for europe-wide bond-buying later today.

But whatever the eurozone is doing, plenty of companies in the various FTSE indices are progressing nicely of their own accord. Here are three that are on the up today...

Morrisons

Wm Morrison Supermarkets (LSE: MRW) jumped today, putting on 11p (3.9%) to 292p after releasing interim figures. The results were more a confirmation that everything is going fine rather than anything dramatic, but that's just what the market wanted. Overall turnover was up 2.3% to £8.9bn, with like-for-like falling 0.9%.

Reported pre-tax profit fell slightly to £440m (from £449m a year ago), but the company calculated underlying earnings per share to be 13.09p, up 10%. That enabled a similar boost to the half-time dividend, up 10% to 3.49p per share. Forecasts suggest a full-year dividend of around 4.2%, which looks comfortable.

Lamprell

Engineering contractor Lamprell (LSE: LAM) enjoyed a 2.75p (2.9%) boost to 98.75p on the news that it is to extend its operations into Saudi Arabia. The firm, which services the oil and gas industry, has signed a joint venture with Shoaibi Group, and with Al Yusr Townsend and Bottum, to form Lamprell Arabia Ltd.

Lamprell shares crashed in May when a trading update told of delays and further unanticipated costs that would hit full-year revenues, and hasn't really recovered yet. But though full-year forecasts predict a loss this year, things are expected to bounce back to a profit and a 5.9% dividend by 2013.

Valiant

Interim results from Valiant Petroleum (LSE: VPP) boosted the shares by 30p (6.5%) to 490p. The key points were that, although the first half was down in comparison to the same period last year, production this year is "heavily skewed" towards the second half, and operating cash flow continues to be strong, at $62.3m for the first half.

Full-year guidance remains unchanged, with production estimated at 7,000 to 8,500 barrels of oil per day, the mid-point of which is up on the previous year-end -- first half average production came in at 4,800 barrels per day. Further production growth is expected in 2013.

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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.

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