3 Shares Beating the FTSE Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE  ) dropped back a bit this morning, falling 38 points, or 0.65%, after finishing last week on an upbeat note. Some commentators are suggesting disappointing employment data is the cause, but gains and losses like this are often no more than random noise.

If the index of top U.K. shares is not going anywhere, there are plenty of individual companies that are. Here are three on the up today.

Ryanair (LSE: RYA.L  )
Ryanair gained 7.4% this morning to reach 4.88 euros after profit for the first half stormed up 10% to 596 million euros. For the six months to Sept. 30, passenger numbers were up by 7% to 48 million, with revenue up 15% to 3.1 billion euros. Basic earnings per share finished up 13% to 41.34 euro cents.

The company told us it expects pressure on profitability in the second half, but it was still confident enough to raise its full-year profit guidance of between 400 million euros and 440 million euros to a new range of 490 million euros to 520 million euros.

Weir Group (LSE: WEIR.L  )
Weir Group put on 4% to reach 1,822 pence today on a strong interim management statement. The mining, oil, and gas engineer told of double-digit profit growth for 2012 and set a full-year target of 440 million pounds to 450 million pounds in profit before tax, amortization, and exceptional items.

Business in the third quarter slowed a little, but that was expected, and revenue and profit were better than in the same quarter last year. The share price is still down on the year, so could we have a bargain here? It must be worth investigation.

Today's news covers a mixed bag of sectors, and a portfolio spread across a number of them can help protect against shocks. But which sectors are doing best Earlier this year, we asked The Motley Fool's top analysts to pick their favorite sectors for 2012, and you can see the result in this free report. What did they pick, and how are they doing so far? You can find out by clicking here -- we'll send the report direct to your inbox.

Centamin (LSE: CEY.L  )  
Centamin
shares bounced back today after plummeting last week, regaining 16% to 70 pence. Last week's shock was the apparent news that the Egypt-based gold miner's concession at its Sukari mine had been ruled invalid by the Egyptian courts, and the shares were suspended after losing 30%.

But now Centamin has received the written judgment, which claims that written approval from the appropriate minister was not apparent, rendering the exploration lease invalid. However, Centamin says it has the original documentation, including the necessary ministerial approval, and is confident it will succeed on appeal.

If you want to invest in getting riches out of the ground, the oil and gas exploration business could be a better long-term bet than precious metals. We've produced our free "How To Unearth Great Oil & Gas Shares" report to help you. 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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