3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE Today


LONDON -- Oh, FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) . Where are you going? Nobody knows the answer to that, what with decent U.K. results pushing upward against the downward tug of euro-panic. Today the index of top U.K. shares is down just 14 points to 5,484 and looks likely to end another day under 5,500.

But that doesn't affect the results of the FTSE indexes' best-performing companies, three of which we take a look at this morning.

Unilever (ISE: ULVR.L)
shares rose 4.6% to 2,238 pence after the company released a strong first-half report. Overall turnover grew by 11.5%, though that did benefit from net acquisitions. But underlying sales were still good, up 7% on a combination of 2.8% volume growth and price rises.

And with the economic squeeze afflicting Europe, Unilever's worldwide presence was a boon, as emerging-market sales grew 11.4% over the six-month period. These positive results have gone against the general trend, as a number of global consumer-products companies are having a harder time of it.

Faroe (ISE: FPM.L) Shares in Faroe Petroleum enjoyed a nice 7% boost after the oil and gas explorer released early results from its Cooper Well in the Norwegian Sea.

After drilling to a depth of 5,330 meters, initial signs are good, with hydrocarbons found. Further testing will now take place to determine the likely productivity of the discovery. The news has come as a welcome relief to Faroe shareholders, as the shares had fallen about 20% since early this year.

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Rolls-Royce (ISE: RR.L) Aero engine maker Rolls-Royce put on 4.7% to 869 pence after demand for its fuel-efficient engines boosted sales and profits for the first six months of the year. At the interim stage, we saw underlying revenue up 5% to 5.8 billion pounds, lifting pretax profit by 7% to 637 million pounds -- figures which beat forecasts.

Chief executive John Rishton was understandably upbeat, saying, "For the full year, we continue to expect good growth in underlying profit with cash flow around breakeven." The shares have powered up this year and are now well up on their 2009 low of 260 pence.

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Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Unilever. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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