3 Shares Beating the FTSE Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE  ) is bouncing back, up 1.37% at the time of writing to 5,862 points. After last week's lackluster performance, another good day tomorrow could see the FTSE once again approaching to its 52-week high of 5,989 points.

But even if the index is rising, there are individual constituents that are beating it. Let's look at three heading up today.

BT
BT Group
(LSE: BT-A.L  ) got a boost from interim results, and the price perked up 7.5% to 228 pence. Although revenues for the six months fell by 7% to 8.96 billion pounds, pre-tax profit and adjusted earnings per share both climbed by 8%, and the interim dividend was lifted by 15% to 3 pence per share.

A similar rise in the final dividend should provide us with a full-year payout of around 4.3%, with the shares on a forward price-to-earnings ratio of only 8.5.

Lloyds
Lloyds Banking Group
(LSE: LLOY.L  ) gained 8.5% to 44 pence on the release of a third-quarter update. Despite taking a further 1 billion pound hit in a larger-than-expected bill for payment protection insurance mis-selling, underlying profits for the quarter, excluding such one-offs, doubled to 840 million pounds, with the nine-month figure soaring by 148% to 1.9 billion pounds.

Lloyds isn't back to paying dividends yet, so it's unlikely to be a target for income investors who follow Neil Woodford's strategy of looking for companies offering dependable long-term payouts. If you're interested in his FTSE-beating approach, the free Motley Fool report "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor" could be just what you want. Click here to get an insight into Woodford's portfolio.

Soco
An interim statement from Soco International (LSE: SIA.L  ) sent its shares up 2.6% to 346.6 pence today. The oil and gas exploration and production company told us that production for the nine months to September was up about 400% compared with the same period last year, at an average of nearly 14,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Net cash remains strong, and the firm should have another well spudding off the coast of the Republic of Congo by the end of the year.

Investing in oil and gas exploration can gain or lose you a lot of money, so it pays to do your homework. That's why we've produced our free "How To Unearth Great Oil & Gas Shares" report. It's available for a limited period, so click here to get your copy while you still can.

Further Motley Fool investment opportunities:

Alan 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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