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3 Shares That Beat the FTSE Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE  ) has ended the week on a quiet note, down about 21 points, or 0.35%, to 5,896 for the day. Despite that small fall, the index is up for the week, with the gain having been buoyed by pleasing U.K. economic figures.

There are individual shares that are doing even better than that, of course, and we take a look at three that beat the market today.

Spectris (LSE: SXS.L  )
Spectris, the precision instrument maker, enjoyed a nice boost today, up 11.6% to 1,779 pence. The driver was an upbeat interim management statement that told us of a 12% sales increase in the quarter to Oct. 18. A lot of the progress came from acquisitions, but the firm recorded a 2% rise in like-for-like sales over the same period a year ago.

Net debt stands at 290 million pounds, which is no big deal for a 1.8 billion pound company with annual revenue of more than 1 billion pounds. The shares are now up 50% over the past 12 months.

William Hill (LSE: WMH.L  )
The shares of bookmaker William Hill have gained more than 50% over the past year, and a 4% rise to 357 pence today helped push the price even further. The occasion was a third-quarter update that told of a 26% rise in operating profit, with a 43% rise in online profits.

Even after the price rise, forecasts still put the shares on an undemanding forward price-to-earnings ratio of 12, with a dividend of around 3.3% expected for the full year.

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Johnson Matthey (LSE: JMAT.L  )
Shares in Johnson Matthey continued their rebound today, putting on 42 pence for a 1.8% rise to 23.29 pounds. The price hit a peak of 25.79 pounds recently before falling back. But the firm, which produces speciality metals and chemicals, has been working with a number of partners in developing fuel-cell technology, and that is almost sure to be a big earner in the not-too-distant future.

The share price is up about 35% for the year, and with a forward P/E of 14 and dividends of 2.7% forecast, there isn't a lot of technology-led growth factored in.

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Alan Oscroft does not own any shares mentioned in this article. 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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