3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) is holding pretty steady at 5,908 points, down just 0.1% from Friday's close -- and last week was a positive one for the index of top U.K. stocks.

We didn't have a lot of big news today, but there were some companies gaining nicely from what releases there were. Here are three whose prices are rising today.

Andor (LSE: AND  )
It was a good day for technology companies, with scientific-imaging specialist Andor seeing its share price rise 3% to 392 pence. The occasion was the release of positive annual results, which showed sales rising by 2% to 58.3 million pounds. Of great importance, the firm's gross margin improved to 55.7% from 54.1%, helping to boost adjusted pre-tax profit by 3% to 10 million pounds, with earnings per share up 14% to 27.5 pence. Andor will pay its first dividend, of 2 pence per share.

This should be welcomed by investors, who have seen Andor's share price falling; it's down about 30% since the start of the year.

Advanced Computer Software (LSE: ASW  )
Advanced Computer Software Group announced the acquisition today of Serco Learning, a U.K. education software provider, for 7.25 million pounds in cash. The deal boosted the share price by 1.6%.

Advanced Computer Software, which provides health care and business management software, has had a great year, with shares up nearly 50% over the past 52 weeks, building on three years of strong earnings growth.

Highland Gold Mining (LSE: HGM  )
An acquisition was also responsible for a 3.6% rise in Highland Gold Mining shares, though in this case it was the acquisition of a new license. Highland Gold now has exploration and mining rights for a further 3.9 square kilometers adjacent to its Mnogovershinnoye mining operation.

Highland Gold certainly needed a boost, as its shares have slid by 55% over the past 12 months after a fairly steady three-year rise.

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