3 Shares Set To Beat The FTSE Today

Published in Investing on 19 October 2012

Spectris (LSE: SXS) and William Hill (LSE: WMH) are rising nicely.

The FTSE 100 (UKX) looks to be ending the week on a quiet note, down 10 points on the day to 5,907 by mid-afternoon. Despite that small fall, the index is up 114 points (2%) on the week so far, with the gain having been buoyed by pleasing UK economic figures.

There are individual shares that are doing even better than that, of course, and we take a look at three that are on their way up and set to beat the market today:

Spectris

Spectris (LSE: SXS), the precision instrument maker, enjoyed a nice boost today, up 189p (12%) to 1,783p. The driver was an upbeat interim management statement that told us of a 12% sales increase in the quarter to 18 October. A lot of the progress came from acquisitions, but the firm recorded a 2% rise in like-for-like sales over the same period a year ago.

Net debt stands at £290 million, which is no big deal for a £1.8 billion company with annual revenue of more than £1 billion. The shares are now 50% up over the past twelve months.

William Hill

The shares of bookmaker William Hill (LSE: WMH) have gained more than 50% over the past year, and a 12p (3%) rise to 355p today helped push the price even further. The occasion was a third-quarter update that told of a 26% rise in operating profit, with a 43% rise in online profits.

Even after the price rise, forecasts still put the shares on an undemanding forward price to earnings (P/E) ratio of 12, with a dividend of around 3.3% expected for the full year.

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Johnson Matthey

Shares in Johnson Matthey (LSE: JMAT) continued their rebound today, putting on 62p for a 3% rise to £23.49. The price hit a peak of £25.79 recently, before falling back. But the firm, which produces speciality metals and chemicals, has been working with a number of partners in developing fuel-cell technology, and that is almost sure to be a big earner in the not-too-distant future.

The share price is up around 35% on the year, and with a forward P/E of 14 with dividends of 2.7% forecast, there isn't a lot of technology-led growth factored in.

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

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