3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) hasn't moved much today, up just 0.28% to 5,908 as of 9:10 a.m. EST, though it had touched 5,920 points earlier in the morning -- just 69 points below its 52-week high of 5,989. Unless we get any bad news tomorrow, it looks like we could be on for a positive week for the index of top U.K. stocks.

And while the FTSE is looking good, some individual companies are looking better. Here are three that are doing nicely today.

Premier Farnell (LSE: PFL  )
Premier Farnell shares gained 5.5% to 187 pence after third-quarter results told us of an 18% fall in adjusted pre-tax profit to 17.3 million pounds following a modest 1.6% slip in revenue to 233.5 million pounds.

However, a fall in full-year profit for the electronic-parts distributor had been forecast by City analysts, and news that the firm is expected to save around 4 million pounds a year with a new cost-cutting program, with 800,000 pounds saved over the rest of 2012, was clearly welcome -- though there will be one-off costs of 1.3 million pounds.

DS Smith (LSE: SMDS  )
Interim results boosted the share price of DS Smith by 2.3% to 219 pence, taking the price up nearly 60% over the past 12 months. The numbers were up across the board at the packaging firm, which acquired SCA Packaging earlier this year for 1.28 billion pounds.

Revenue is up 62% to 1.67 billion pounds, pre-tax profit is up 63% to 106 million pounds, and earnings per share rose 16% to 8.8 pence. The firm saw fit to lift its interim dividend by 32% to 2.5 pence per share. However, as a result of the SCA acquisition, debt is up massively to 857 million pounds from a net cash position of 322 million pounds at the same stage last year.

Scancell (LSE: SCLP  )
A good trial result is just what a biotechnology company wants, and that's exactly what Scancell Holdings got today. The firm, which develops therapeutic cancer vaccines, announced that a trial of its SCIB1 vaccine produced a vaccine-induced T cell response in four out of six patients.

The result for shareholders was a 15.3% jump in the share price, providing better than an eight-bagger this year.

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