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LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE ) has slipped below the 6,500 level, down 0.57% to 6,492 as of 8:05 a.m. EDT. The index of the U.K.'s largest shares did scrape its recent five-year high this morning, reaching a fraction of a point less than 6,534, which the index hit on Tuesday. And we're a long way from the FTSE's 52-week low of 5,230 points set last summer.
But which individual shares are rising today? Here are three that started the session well and look set to beat the FTSE 100 today.
Rentokil Initial (LSE: RTO )
Rentokil Initial shares jumped 10.6% to 100 pence after the firm raised its full-year dividend by 58%. The payment, of 2.1 pence per share, comes from only the second year of renewed dividends after payments were suspended in 2009. The new dividend represents a yield of 2.1% on the current share price.
Revenue for the year to December 2012 was flat, but adjusted pre-tax profit was up 3.6%, with adjusted earnings per share up 3.3%. The fourth quarter was particularly strong, with adjusted pre-tax profit up 11.4%. Chief executive Alan Brown expressed confidence that "2013 will see us sustain the momentum we achieved in the final quarter of 2012."
Halma (LSE: HLMA )
Halma shares have climbed 3.3% to 534.5 pence on news of an acquisition. The health and safety equipment group acquired ASL Holdings on March 14 for an initial cash payment of 6.5 million pounds plus further payments of up to 3.5 million pounds. ASL will become part of Halma's HWM-Water subsidiary.
Chief executive Andrew Williams told investors, "ASL will further strengthen HWM's market position within the water industry as well as adding new opportunities to diversify into other markets."
When we see stock markets becoming bullish, attention must surely turn to investing in growth possibilities (though a side helping of dividends is always a welcome addition). But finding companies that have not yet achieved their full potential is not always easy, which is why The Motley Fool's best analysts have put their heads together to bring you their top growth selection for 2013. You can find out what the selection is completely free of charge, but the report will be available for a limited period only. So click here to enjoy your copy today.