LONDON -- We saw a bit more life in the FTSE 100 today. The leading U.K. index rose 1.17% to close at 6,387 points. Further recoveries in the mining sector are helping, but the big banks are beating them with bigger rises today. We've had mixed news from China, too: Inflation is lower than expected, but a trade deficit might indicate rising domestic demand.
Which other companies are doing well? Here are three from the various indexes that climbed today.
A pre-close update sent Halfords Group shares up 1% to 319 pence this morning. Overall sales for the year at the car parts and cycling specialist should be up around 1% -- but we should be seeing a 13.5% increase from Halfords Autocentres after a further 12 outlets were opened during the final 11 weeks
Pre-tax profit should be around 68 million pounds to 72 million pounds, which is in line with previous expectations. There is no mention of dividends as yet, though City analysts have been steady for months with a forecast of 22 pence per share, which would provide a yield of more than 7% -- but it would be barely covered and is by no means certain. Results are due on May 23.
Genel Energy's share price popped 6.4% to 850 pence on the news of a "significant" oil discovery in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The explorer plans to drill five exploratory wells in its Chia Surkh license area -- and hit paydirt on the first attempt!
The company hit the black stuff at a depth of 1,700 meters and has estimated a likely flow of up to 11,950 barrels of oil per day. The firm also believes it has found up to 15 million cubic feet of gas.
Shares in Daisy Group climbed 6% to 131 pence after the telecom operator told us of its first-ever dividend. In a pre-close update today, the firm that offers combined voice and data services to smaller businesses told us it plans to announce a maiden 4 pence per-share payment on results day on June 18.
On today's price, that would provide a yield of 3%, which isn't bad for starters, and the firm intends to lift its payout by 15% per year for the next two years. The results should be "materially ahead of current market expectations," with net debt lower than expected.
Finally, if you're looking for investments that should take you all the way to a comfortable retirement, I recommend the Fool's special new report detailing five blue-chip shares. They'll be familiar names to many, and they've already provided investors with decades of profits. But the report will only be available for a limited period, so click here to get your hands on these great ideas -- they could set you on the road to long-term riches.
The article Why Halfords, Genel Energy, and Daisy Beat the FTSE 100 Today originally appeared on Fool.com.
Alan Oscroft has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Genel Energy and Halfords Group. The Motley Fool owns shares of Halfords Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.