3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE  ) seems to be flattening off a bit today, down five points to 5,905 by midday after a strong close yesterday. It did, in fact, reach nearly 5,930 points at one stage this morning, which was just 59 points short of its year high of 5,989.

But individual shares are beating the index, as they do every day. Let's take a look at three FTSE index constituents that are flying high and look set to outrun the wider market today.

Mothercare (LSE: MTC.L  )
Mothercare shares leapt today, up 15% to 267 pence on the back of a first-half preclose trading statement. Chief executive Simon Calver, who left LOVEFiLM to steer Mothercare's recovery, sounded pleased, saying: "Our strategy outlined in May this year is showing early signs of progress."

Mothercare, which owns the eponymous retail chain and Early Learning Centre brand, saw the recent fall in U.K. like-for-like sales bottoming out, with online sales returning to growth. Those who invested in the recovery earlier this year have done well: The shares are now 75% up on their 2012 low of 152 pence.

Booker (LSE: BOK.L  )
Food wholesaler Booker had a great morning, too, up 5.7% to 99.75 pence after releasing interim results. Total sales for the 24 weeks to Sept. 14 gained 3.3% to 1.9 billion pounds, with like-for-like sales up 3.1%.

Pre-tax profits, after a 3 million pound exceptional cost related to an acquisition, came in 13% higher at 41 million pounds. At the bottom line, earnings per share rose 6% to 2.5 pence, and an interim dividend up 15% to 0.38 pence per share was announced. Booker has been another success story this year, with the shares now nearly 40% up on their 52-week low -- and they've more than six-bagged since their 2008 low.

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Tethys (LSE: TPL.L  )
Tethys Petroleum saw its recent slide reversed this morning as it regained 10% to 35 pence. The firm announced that its AKD07 exploration well in Kazakhstan has reached its target depth ahead of schedule, and tests are ready to be run to see if it has hit the hoped-for oil-bearing strata.

The shares have had a tough ride this year, and despite a good start to 2012, they've been slowly sliding since March. Could this be the turning point investors have been waiting for?

Well, it's a tricky business investing in oil, and with exploration companies we should often expect a volatile ride. But if you want some help, the latest Motley Fool report, "How To Unearth Great Oil & Gas Shares" is available free. Click here to read it today.

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Alan Oscroft does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Booker. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.


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