3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE 100 Today


LONDON -- The FTSE 100 is bouncing to either side of the 6,300 level at the moment. It closed yesterday at 6,295, then rose this morning to reach 6,313 before falling back to 6,270 points by 7:50 a.m. EST -- down 25 points on the day.

But it's all just noise, really, as there's been no real economic news this week. Still, even if the FTSE isn't heading for yet another new high today, plenty of individual shares are on the way up. Here are three responding well to good news.

An interim update sent Vodafone shares up 1.9% to 174 pence, adding to the rise of about 10% since the start of the year. Service revenue for the quarter ended December declined, as expected, by 2.6%, with the hard-pressed countries of Europe making up the bulk -- U.K. service revenue was down 5%. But in emerging markets, revenue from Turkey grew by 18%, while India revenue was up 9%. And Verizon Wireless revenue was boosted by 8.7%. Overall data revenue was up by 8.7% as smartphone penetration increased.

Vodafone, the biggest dividend payer in the FTSE 100, has seen its forecasts repeatedly uprated by analysts, with earnings per share of 16.2 pence and a dividend of 10.5 pence now expected for the full year. That's a 6% dividend yield from shares on a P/E of less than 11.

Compass Group shares have risen by more than 20% over the past 12 months, putting on another 1.5% so far today to 777 pence after the catering-services group released an interim statement ahead of its annual general meeting.

The new year has apparently started well for Compass, with nearly 6% organic revenue growth in the first quarter. In December the company completed its 500 million pound share buyback with an average price paid of 670 pence per share, which looks like it was a good move considering today's price.

Shares in online supermarket Ocado are continuing their recovery from last year's slump, picking up another 9.7% today to reach 114 pence. The occasion was the reporting of a 2 million pound pre-tax profit for the year ending December 2012, whereas the City had been expecting a small loss.

That profit came from an 11% rise in revenue to 678 million pounds, backed by an 11% rise in order numbers to 123,000 per week. That level of profit is still pretty low compared to the company's market cap of about 640 million pounds, so there are clearly a lot of expectations surrounding the performance of Ocado's second warehouse and order-processing center, due to open next month.

Finally, if you're attracted by dividends like Vodafone's, you're not alone. Whether you take the income to live on or reinvest it in more shares, there's nothing wrong with good old cash, whatever your strategy. And that's why I recommend the brand-new Fool report "The Motley Fool's Top Income Share For 2013," in which our top analysts identify a share they believe will provide handsome dividend income for years to come. But it will only be available for a limited period, so click here to get your copy today.

The article 3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE 100 Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Alan Oscroft does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Vodafone. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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