3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE 100 Today

LONDON -- Deadlock in the Italian election has hit the markets today, sending the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) down 1.3% to 6,271. Fears are growing, especially given the size of the anti-austerity vote, that Italy's economic reforms could be under threat.

But there will always be shares beating the index. Here are three that are rising in response to strong results.

GKN (LSE: GKN  )
Automotive and aerospace components maker GKN shares have perked up 3.7% to 262 pence on the release of full-year results to December 2012. Sales rose by 13% to 6.9 billion pounds, with adjusted pre-tax profit up 19% to 497 million pounds and earnings per share up 17% to 26.5 pence. The total dividend has been lifted by 20% to 7.2 pence per share for a 2.8% yield.

Since recording a pre-tax profit in 2010, GKN has progressively raised its earnings and dividends. This year is expected to be flat earnings-wise, but forecasts put the shares on a price-to-earnings ratio of only about nine, with the dividend yield expected to rise to 3.3% for 2013.

Croda (LSE: CRDA  )
Full-time results from Croda International lifted the company's share price by 1.9% to 2,605 pence. From overall sales that rose 2.3% to 1 billion pounds, the consumer care and chemicals company turned in a 6.6% rise in pre-tax profits to 253.2 million pounds. Earnings per share from continuing operations rose 8.2% to 130 pence, and the dividend got an 8.2% boost to 59.5 pence per share.

That all puts the shares on a P/E of nearly 20 with a dividend yield of 2.3%, but there's a 7% rise in earnings forecast for this year and 11% for 2014.

Elementis (LSE: ELM  )
It's been a good day for chemicals makers. Elementis shares are up 5.2% to 240 pence, again on the release of full-year results for December 2012. The main highlight was an 11% rise in the company's ordinary dividend for the year to about $0.08 per share, plus the payment of a special dividend of about $0.05.

Sales for the year were pretty much flat, with pre-tax profit up 5% to $141.2 million and diluted earnings per share up 12% to $0.23. Elementis ended the year with net cash of $44 million, up 68% on the previous year.

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