3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE Today


LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) climbed a bit today, up 64 points to 5,726, even though yesterday's statements from European leaders were not the positive statements investors had hoped for, but rather wishy-washy half-promises of "We'll do something, sometime...maybe."

The banks were partly responsible for offsetting the eurozone disappointment. RBS posted results that were better than expected (not much was expected, mind you). Here's a quick look at RBS plus a couple of others from the FSTE indexes.

Royal Bank of Scotland
put on 5% to 215 pence on the day it released interim results -- and a day after speculation was rife that the government is considering fully nationalizing it.

The results themselves don't look like much cause for celebration, as the bailed-out bank reported a net loss of 1.9 billion pounds for the six months. But that was after an accounting charge of 2.9 billion pounds, and the bank did claim a "core operating profit" of 3.2 billion pounds.

It also set aside 260 million pounds to cover mis-selling of insurance and compensate customers for its recent technological problems, which badly affected customers of NatWest and Ulster Bank. Overall, the results weren't as bad as many had expected.

Inmarsat (ISE: ISAT.L) Shares in Inmarsat, which have been recovering nicely of late, stormed up another 8.6% to reach 526 pence today after interim results from the satellite communications operator recorded a 13% increase in revenue from its maritime operations.

Overall revenue was pretty flat at $684 million, and pretax profit fell a little to $233 million (from $255 million), but growth in maritime communications is key to Inmarsat's future, and the firm felt confident enough to lift its interim dividend by 10% to about $0.17.

With the apparent turnaround and dividends of 5.6% and 6% forecast for the next two year-ends, respectively, the shares could be a bargain right now.

Rentokil (ISE: RTO.L)
Rentokil Initial
, once a byword for steady dividend growth, enjoyed a 6.2% surge to 76.1 pence on the release of interim results. Troubles at the firm's City Link division look to be resolving after it recorded reduced losses and said it should become profitable by the fourth quarter.

Overall, revenue for the half year rose 2.9% to 1.28 billion pounds, with adjusted pretax profit 7.3% ahead at 78.1 million pounds. And we do have a dividend proposed; it's only 0.67 pence per share, but it's the first interim payout in three years.

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