Laura Ashley (LSE: ALY) results are good; Cluff Gold (LSE: CLF) and Blinkx (LSE: BLNX) announce partnerships.
The FTSE 100 (UKX) has gained a few points today, rising 17 points to 5,808 points, while there's no major news affecting the UK's blue-chip shares at the moment. We've really just seen banks and other financials drifting up a bit.
But there are individual companies in the various indices that are set to beat the FTSE today, and we take a look at three of them...
Laura Ashley Holdings (LSE: ALY) shot up 8.2% to 24.75p this morning, on the day the home furnishings chain released first-half results, taking the shares to a new 52-week high.
With sales for the six months up 7.5% to £145m, and pre-tax profits up 13.7% to £8.3m, shareholders have plenty of reason to cheer. There was net cash of £27.8m on the books at the end of the period, and a 1p per share interim dividend was announced.
Full-year forecasts suggest a dividend of nearly 9%, though that will barely be covered by earnings. Still, with a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 11 and all that cash, the shares don't look expensive.
Cluff Gold (LSE: CLF) picked up 3p (4%) to 79.4p after announcing a strategic alliance with Korean giant Samsung. The deal will provide Samsung with a long-term supply of gold bullion from Cluff's Kalsaka mine in Burkina Faso, in return for an immediate $20m of funding for Cluff in the form of a loan from Samsung, and possible further funding for Cluff's development of its Baomahun project in Sierra Leone.
Cluff's gold assets look impressive, too, as the company has strongly increased its revenues from $40m in its first year of production in 2009, to $122m last year. A small profit is expected this year, but forecasts have that doubling next year, putting the shares on a 2013 P/E of just 9.
Smart video technologist Blinkx (LSE: BLNX) gained 2.3% to 55.25p on the news of a new partnership. The deal with SNTV, said to be “the world's leading television sports video news agency”, will use Blinkx's AdHoc platform to place contextually relevant advertising on SNTV's video output, with Blinkx taking a share of the revenues.
This is a particularly pleasing development for the Fool's Beginners' Portfolio, which added Blinkx shares in July -- they're up 18p (49%) since then.
If growth shares like Blinkx are not your cup of tea, investing in safe dividend-paying shares the Neil Woodford way is a good alternative. The free Motley Fool report “8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor” takes a look at some of his major holdings. Click here to get your free copy, while it's still available.
If you prefer the oil and gas sector as a place for your cash, the latest Motley Fool report, “How To Unearth Great Oil & Gas Shares”, is just for you. It's free for a limited time, so click here to get your personal copy.
Further Motley Fool investment opportunities:
> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.