3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE Today


LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) is pretty much carrying on the way it ended last week -- going sideways -- and is just 20 points down at 5,832. It's a regular story, with banks up a bit and miners down a bit. Tomorrow it might be miners up and banks down.

But what happens to the big sectors doesn't affect most individual FTSE index constituents. Here are three whose prices are doing well today.

Bovis (ISE: BVS.L)
Bovis Homes
perked up this morning after reporting a doubling of interim pre-tax profit to 16 million pounds, and the shares put on 3% to 511 pence in early trading before dropping back a bit to 500 pence. The interim dividend was also doubled to 3 pence per share, in line with a doubling of earnings per share to 8.9 pence.

The homebuilder said its completion figure of 944 homes was up 18% on the first half of last year, at an average selling price of 164,000 pounds. Chief executive David Ritchie told us that "the Group's profits will, subject to stable market conditions, continue to increase significantly in the second half of 2012, in line with the Group's expectations."

Amlin (ISE: AML.L) Insurer Amlin saw its shares boosted 4.7% this morning after releasing pleasing half-time results. The Lloyds underwriter has so far enjoyed a year that has seen a relatively low number of catastrophe claims, and it told us of a pre-tax profit of 185 million pounds (compared with a 192 million pound pre-tax loss for the same period last year).

According to chief executive Charles Philipps, "This is a welcome return to profit and the strength of our underwriting result underlines the quality and diversity of our business."

The shares are up nearly 30% since their recent low, and forecasts still suggest a 6.4% dividend for the full year. The interim payout was lifted by 4.2% to 7.5 pence.

Shanta (ISE: SHG.L)
Shanta Gold
shares leapt 9% to 30 pence after the gold miner announced the commencement of operations at its New Lukia gold mine in southwestern Tanzania. All steps of the process are now in place, and the first gold pour is expected by the end of this month.

The company expects the mine to produce between 13,000 and 17,500 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter of this year. The shares slumped early in the year, but they've staged a 60% recovery since 2012's low point in May.

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