3 Shares Set To Beat The FTSE Today

Published in Investing on 20 November 2012

easyJet (LSE: EZJ) nearly doubles in a year, and Homeserve (LSE: HSV) recovers.

The FTSE 100 (UKX) isn't really moving today, standing just four points down on 5,734 as I write. The index of the UK's biggest stocks slid last week on weakening economic conditions, but has recovered a little so far this week.

But that doesn't stop individual companies in the various indices from doing well. Here are three whose shares are up today:


easyJet (LSE: EZJ) perked up a nice 34.5p (5.3%) to 687p after the budget airline reported a 28% rise in pre-tax profit, to £317m, for the year to September. That came from an 11.6% growth in revenue to £3.85bn, prompting the company to more than double its dividend to 21.5p per share -- a yield of 3%.

Investors have done well since founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou led a revolt against the company's ambitious expansion plans, instead championing a drive to improve current shareholder value. The share price has nearly doubled over the past 12 months, and has risen nearly three-fold since late 2009. And now there are worthwhile dividends, too.


Homeserve (LSE: HSV), the home maintenance insurance group hit by FSA investigations into its policy-selling practices, hit back with a strong set of interim figures today and saw its share price rise by 15.5p (7%) to 238p. An 8% rise in revenue to £229.6m for the six months to September helped boost adjusted pre-tax profit by 9% to £25.6m.

The firm is also reducing its UK business in favour of beefing up its overseas expansion, and we saw UK customer numbers down by 17%, with a 20% rise in US customers. The share price is effectively pretty flat over the year, though it has regained the 40% loss it suffered this summer.

Premier Foods

Premier Foods (LSE: PFD) is also up today, gaining 3.5% to 95.5p, after the firm announced a "further step to build value in bread". The company, which owns the Hovis brand, is to close two more bakeries and consolidate production, and simplify its distribution, in order to cut costs and improve profitability.

The moves should not affect this year's profits, but forecasts already suggest earnings per share growth of about 15%, with the shares on a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of under 4.

Finally, useful daily gains from shares can all play their part in making you your first million. But the real secret to becoming rich from shares is simple long-term investing in fundamentally sound companies, and letting steady growth and dividends power your wealth upwards.

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

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QuantumDealer 20 Nov 2012 , 2:34pm

"Investors have done well since founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou led a revolt against the company's ambitious expansion plans"

It could just as easily be argued that his intervention kept a lid on the shareprice, rather than helped it, as the stock only appeared to perform well once he finally shut his big mouth!

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