3 Shares Set to Beat the FTSE Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE  ) , after briefly passing the 5,900 level it had been toying with for weeks, is down 0.36% to 5,863 as of 8:15 a.m. EST. The absolute level of the FTSE is, of course, meaningless, but it would boost confidence to see it surge and beat its 52-week high of 5,989 points.

We also have some individual constituents of the indexes gaining impressively on the back of positive news. Here are three companies with happy shareholders today.

Spirax-Sarco (LSE: SPX.L  )
The share price of Spirax-Sarco Engineering responded to an 8% increase in operating profit by leaping 7.1% to 2,122 pence. For the four months to Oct. 31, organic sales grew by 6%, which was ahead of the first half of last year, and the company's markets have apparently been more resilient than global economic progress would suggest.

The board expects further progress for the full year, with City analysts forecasting a dividend payout of just less than 3%.

AFC Energy (LSE: AFC.L  )
AFC Energy soared this morning, rocketing 18.7% to 42 pence after receiving an award of up to 6 million euros for the installation of an alkaline fuel-cell energy-generation system. The installation, which will be the world's largest, will be at an ICL plant in Essex and is expected to produce about 1 MW of power.

This could well be a big step toward globalizing AFC's fuel-cell technology, and chief executive Ian Williamson was understandably ebullient, saying, "We are delighted that European funding has been identified to support this important project."

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Coastal Energy (LSE: CEO.L  )
Shares in Coastal Energy spiked 11.5% to 1,350 pence after the company hinted that rumors it is to be sold may or may not be true. The press has been speculating on a possible takeover by Pertamina, the Indonesian state-owned oil company.

Coastal responded by telling us that it "continuously evaluates strategic alternatives, including ... the potential sale of the Company," but that "there can be no assurance" of any deal.

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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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