3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE Today


LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) still isn't doing much this week, sticking around the 5,700 mark today, just 16 points up on yesterday's close. But it does look to be slowly recovering from its recent depths, and is a fair bit up from its October low of 4,944.

Talking of recoveries, a couple of companies in the FTSE indices enjoyed positive news of their turnaround strategies today.

It's not often that the departure of a chief executive boosts a company's share price, but that's exactly what happened to Halfords (ISE: HFD.L) this morning, as the shares climbed 13 pence for a 6.5% rise to 210 pence, on the day that David Wild stood down with immediate effect. Chairman Dennis Millard will step in until a replacement is found.

In separate news, a first-quarter statement told us that total revenues have slipped by 5.2%, with like-for-like sales falling 5.6%. But Autocentres had a good quarter, up 9.2%, and full-year guidance suggests pre-tax profit of between 62 million pounds and 70 million pounds.

(ISE: MTC.L) is another whose turnaround looks to be going well, as it put on 22.4 pence (5.5%) today to reach 217 pence, following an encouraging first-quarter update. Although overall group sales for the quarter were down 4.4%, Chairman Alan Parker said that the results "were in line with our overall plans despite challenging trading conditions in the UK and the eurozone."

The company's three-year recovery plan appears to be on track, and there's a good chance the shares are past the worst of it now, having touched a bottom of 127 pence back in November.

But if you're looking for big rises, you can't do much better than Tethys Petroleum (ISE: TPL.L) , whose shares soared by 15.5 pence (38%) to 56.5 pence today after the oil and gas explorer released an update on its resources in Tajikistan.

An independent report, covering an area of 35,000 square kilometers, has indicated a total reserve of 27.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, which is an awful lot of the black stuff whichever way you look at it. The shares have been volatile this year, but shareholders should be happy today.

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