3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE 100 Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) is back above the 6,300 mark, up 0.44% to 6,304 as of 8 a.m. EST. There's no real macroeconomic news at the moment, and Asian markets have been quiet after the Chinese New Year.

So it's all down to individual company news to drive things at the moment. We take a look at three constituents of the various FTSE indexes that are on the way up today.

Barclays (LSE: BARC  ) (NYSE: BCS  )
Shares in Barclays have gained anoter 6.7% to reach 322 pence after the company announced a 26% rise in adjusted pre-tax profit for 2012 to 7 billion pounds. However, once various exceptional items were taken into account, including a 1.6 billion pound charge for misselling of payment protection insurance and 850 million pounds to compensate for missold interest rate hedging investments, statutory pre-tax profit was only 246 million pounds.

Still, with new chief executive Antony Jenkins telling us of a woeful 20 years in which the banks "became too aggressive, too focused on the short term, and too disconnected from the needs of customers and clients" and promising to refocus the business away from such short-term risk, could we be in for an era of squeaky-clean bankers? We shall see.

Avanti (LSE: AVN  )
Avanti Communications shares are up 10.5% to 278 pence on the announcement of interim results. Avanti, which provides satellite telecom services to businesses and consumers, says that sales momentum is growing and that it expects to become cash-flow positive in the second half of the current financial year. Nonexecutive director Paul Johnson liked that news and purchased 10,000 shares at a price of 277 pence.

The price has had a bad run since last summer, dropping more than 40% by the end of the 2012 to 240 pence before this year's mini-recovery. With profits not expected until the year ending June 2014, it's hard to put a valuation on the company right now, but Johnson seems to think it's a bargain.

Fortune Oil (LSE: FTO  )
Fortune Oil shares gained 3.6% to 10.9 pence after the China-based oil and gas explorer confirmed the sale of its natural-gas business to China Gas Holdings. Proposals for the deal, worth $400 million, were announced in December, and today we heard that the required shareholder approval has been achieved, with a vote of 99.96% in favor.

Expectations for the year to December 2012 put the shares on a P/E of nine, falling to eight on 2013 estimates, and there's a dividend yield of about 2% expected.

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