3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE 100 Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) dipped a little this morning as fears emanating from the Cyprus bailout continued to spook the markets, but the blue-chip index has since scraped its way back to breakeven. Details of Cyprus' proposed tax on bank deposits remain unconfirmed and subject to possible revision, but the specter of taxing ordinary savings has dealt a blow to the eurozone and sentiment.

But back to the U.K. and to shares that are doing well. Here are three that look set to beat the FTSE 100 today.

Sainsbury (LSE: SBRY  ) (NASDAQOTH: JSAIY  )
A fourth-quarter update from J Sainsbury sent the supermarket's shares up 1.5% to 371 pence. For the 10 weeks to March 16, total sales were up 7.1% on the same period last year, with like-for-like sales up 4.2%. Excluding fuel, those figures came in at 6.3% and 3.6%, respectively. For the year, like-for-like sales rose by 2.1% (1.8% excluding fuel).

Sainsbury's relaunched store-brand range led the way with a 9% year-on-year rise in sales, and chief executive Justin King said the company was "well positioned to continue to outperform the market." The shares are now up more than 20% over the past 12 months, taking them to a new 52-week high today.

Filtrona (LSE: ESNT  )
Filtrona, the speciality plastics manufacturer, has also had a good year, with shares up more than 40% over 12 months. And the price enjoyed an extra boost today, up 2.8% to 681pence on news of a proposed new placing.

The issue of new shares, representing 9.99% of the current share base, is expected to raise about 133 million pounds for the acquisition of Contego Healthcare, which makes packaging for the health care industry. Filtrona chief executive Colin Day described the acquisition as "a compelling strategic and complementary fit for Filtrona."

Optimal Payments (LSE: OPAY  )
If you want an example of a recent growth share, Optimal Payments fits the bill nicely, with its share price having more than quadrupled in less than two years.

Today the shares received a fresh boost, taking them up 0.7% to 168 pence after the firm, which provides online payment services, announced a 58% rise in EBITDA to $27.6 million for the year to December 2012. That came from a 40% rise in revenue to $179.1 million and helped the company turn 2011's $26.2 million pre-tax loss into a pre-tax profit of $3.6 million.

Finally, finding growth 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 read your copy today.


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