3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE Today

LONDON -- Wave the flags, the FTSE 100 is heading back up again. At least, it's back up 45 points to 5,840 points at the time of writing, partly reversing the recent pessimism over earnings due to a few slightly disappointing results from the U.S.

But even as the index is picking up, there are individual constituents that are beating it. We look at three heading up today...

Imperial Tobacco
Preliminary results from Imperial Tobacco  (LSE: IMT.L  ) lifted the shares 27 pence (1.2%) to 2,359 pence. Total tobacco revenues were up 4% to 7,005 million pounds, while adjusted earnings per share at constant currency rose by 8% to 201 pence. Importantly, the firm managed to keep its margins (if not its products) healthy, maintaining a 42% operating margin.

Of most importance to many investors will be the firm's full-year dividend, which was upped by 11% to 105.6 pence per share, in line with recent forecasts, for a yield of 4.6%.

BP
BP  (LSE: BP.L  ) (NYSE: BP  ) shares jumped 21.7 pence (5.1%) to 446.7 pence after the oil giant released a strong third-quarter update. Underlying replacement-cost profit for the quarter came in at $5.2 billion, 40% up on the previous quarter, and the company is on course with its strategic plans to take it to 2014.

Probably the key bit of news was the announcement of an increased dividend. There will be a quarterly payout of $0.09 per share, which is a 12.5% boost, and it's a good indication of the company's confidence as it continues to recover from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Current forecasts suggest a full-year dividend of 20 pence per share, but it looks likely the payout will beat that now.

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TT
TT Electronics  (LSE: TTG.L  ) recovered a few pence today, up 2.5 pence (2.1%) on the release of an interim management statement. The shares have been suffering of late, having lost around 40% since March due to tough global conditions and falling demand for the firm's products, and that was further confirmed today.

But what appears to have pleased investors is the news that, thanks to efforts to recapture market share, sales for the past nine months are less than 3% down on the previous year, and full-year performance is likely to be only slightly below previous guidance.

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Alan Oscroft has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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