3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) has been nervously moving up and down a bit today, falling 26 points to 5,750 by early afternoon, with trading volumes low after the long weekend and markets waiting to hear of the next moves from central banks.

But despite the overall inactivity of the index of top U.K. shares, individual constituents of the various FTSE indexes were quite a bit more active. Here are three companies whose figures led to nice price rises.

Yule Catto (ISE: YULC.L) I suggested last week that Yule Catto might be good for a recovery, and after today's interim figures were released, the shares shot up by 10.5% to 157 pence.

Although sales fell 9.2% to 603 million pounds, profits were up across the board. Pre-tax profit came in 6.9% up at 56 million pounds, and that translated to an earnings-per-share increase of 29.5% to 12.3 pence. That gave management the confidence to boost the half-time dividend by 83.3% to 2.2 pence per share.

Talking of the firm's outlook, chief executive Adrian Whitfield said that "the Board's expectations remain unchanged from the June trading update, for full-year underlying profit before tax ahead of 2011 pro forma of 96 million pounds."

Quadrise (ISE: QFI.L) AIM-listed Quadrise Fuels also had a great day, putting on 16.7% to 10.5 pence after the company announced progress on the commercialization of its MSAR marine fuel oil. The company describes the product as a "low-cost alternative to heavy fuel oil in the shipping, refining, and power generation markets" and told us today that it has an agreement with AB Orlen Lietuva to manufacture its latest formulation as part of an assessment process.

The results should be in by the end of the year, and this could be worth keeping an eye on for those interested in new start-ups -- but it's not sufficiently advanced for anyone to be making financial forecasts yet.

Sirius (ISE: SXX.L)
Sirius Minerals
saw its shares gain 3.9% to 16.1 pence on the announcement of pleasing progress in a crop trial of one of its products. Early results from a study done at Texas A&M University suggest that crops treated with the firm's Sulphate of Potash have produced higher yields than ones given the more usual Muriate of Potash, and that there are significant quality benefits. The multiyear study is set to continue.

That's two "blue sky" companies that don't yet have any profits in the news today, and they're the kind of investments that would scare many people.

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