3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE Today


LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) is creeping higher today, up 32 points to 5,825 at the time of writing. So perhaps there's fog in the Channel, and we're cut off from Europe. We're still a little way off the year's high-water mark of 5,989 points, but surely it can't be long before that's beaten now, can it?

Obviously, individual companies can do better or worse than the index every day. Here are three names from the various FTSE indexes that look set to beat the market today.

AVEVA Group enjoyed a 2.5% boost which took the shares up to 2,039 pence after the company released a trading update telling of positive progress in the first half of the year. The firm, which provides engineering IT products and consultancy services, announced good revenue growth over the same period last year, principally from its work in the oil and gas sector.

The shares are now up more than 40% over the past 12 months, but they've reached a slightly heady forward price-to-earnings ratio of 25. The long-term average P/E for the FTSE is around 14.

Filtrona (ISE: FLTR.L)
An interim update from Filtrona led to a 5.3% jump in the share price to 537 pence today. The firm, which supplies speciality plastics, fibers, and foams, told us of "strong momentum" in its third quarter, saying it expects to achieve its growth targets for the full year.

At current exchange rates, revenue at the Q3 stage was 23% ahead of the previous year, with like-for-like growth at 10%. The shares are up 50% during the past year and look set to deliver a dividend of around 2.5%, forecast to rise nearer to 3% by December 2013.

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Optos (ISE: OPTS.L)
Optos gained 7% to 211 pence on the back of a trading update that revealed a performance ahead of forecasts. The retinal-imaging technologist now expects revenue for the full year to September to exceed $190 million, helped by an 11% increase to its customer base.

This share has had an erratic ride this year, and forecasts before today suggested a 40% fall in earnings this year, with a recovery expected next year, to put the shares on a forward P/E of 16. Those profit expectations will presumably be revised upward now.

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