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3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE 100 Today: Xstrata PLC (XTA), John Wood Group PLC (WG), Serco Group plc (SRP)

LONDON — The FTSE 100 is making an impressive showing, up 1.1% to 6,417 points as of 9:15 a.m. EST. A number of positive company reports helped the markets, while noises from the U.S. and China again expressed commitment to economic stimulus and growth.

But even with the FTSE up, there are individual shares beating it. Here are three.

John Wood Group PLC (LON:WG)John Wood Group PLC (LON:WG)
Full-year results sent John Wood Group PLC (LON:WG) shares up 7.6% to 815 pence today after the engineer reported a 20% rise in sales to $6.8 billion for the year ended December 2012. That led to a 42% increase in adjusted earnings per share to $0.85 cents, enabling the total dividend to be boosted by 26% to $0.14 cents per share.

And there’s more of the same forecast, with the current analysts’ consensus suggesting 30% growth in earnings for 2013 and a further 16% for the year after. That puts the shares on a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 12 for this year, falling to 10.5 next. Dividends are still low, mind, with respective yields of 1.7% and 2% expected for the next two years.

Xstrata PLC (LON:XTA)
Full-year results and an update on the merger between Xstrata PLC (LON:XTA) and Glencore saw both shares rise in price today. As I write, Xstrata PLC (LON:XTA) is up 5.6% to 1,161 pence, while Glencore is up 4.8% to 388 pence.

With commodities prices falling, Xstrata PLC (LON:XTA) saw a 7% fall in revenue to $31.6 billion, with EBITDA down 30% to $8.1 billion and pre-exceptional earnings per share down 37% to $1.24. Glencore saw revenue rise by 15% to $214 billion, though EBITDA fell 8% to $5.9 billion and pre-exceptional EPS fell 39% to $0.44. The longstop date for the firms’ merger has been extended to April 16.

Serco Group plc (LON:SRP)
Serco Group plc (LON:SRP) shares have soared by 7.9% to 625 pence after the services and outsourcing company announced a 5.7% rise in revenue to 4.9 billion pounds for the year to December 2012. Adjusted pre-tax profit rose by 6.1% to 278 million pounds, with adjusted earnings per share up 7.5% to 43 pence. The firm raised its dividend by 20% to 10.1 pence per share for a modest yield of 1.6%.

Years of earnings growth are forecast to continue for the next two years, with 2% expected this year and 11% next, putting the shares on a forward P/E of 13 for 2013, dropping to 12 the year after.

The article 3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE 100 Today originally appeared on and is written by By Alan Oscroft.

Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.

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