LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE ) is up about 0.2% as of 10 a.m. EST, reversing yesterday's small drop. But with little economic news of late and few big companies reporting, there's not a lot going on to drive the index of top U.K. stocks in any direction.
But whatever the index is doing, plenty of individual shares are doing just fine -- at least for today. Here are three names whose share prices are rising and look set to beat the FTSE.
Chemring (LSE: CHG.L )
Chemring shares perked up 4% to 239 pence today -- a welcome move that saw a little of this year's 45% loss regained. The aerospace and defense engineer admitted in a trading update this morning that the company's performance during 2012 was "extremely disappointing," but at least the full year should be no worse than current expectations.
A "significant" operating cash inflow in the final quarter helped, though the firm is still facing pressure from reduced defense spending in the U.S., the U.K., and Europe. But even with all that, City forecasts put the shares on a price to earnings ratio of less than six, so there could still be a decent long-term bargain there for the brave.
Renew (LSE: RNWH.L )
Renew gained 5.5 pence for a nice 7% rise to 87.5 pence following the release of full-year results. The engineering contractor saw revenue fall 4% to 337 million pounds but reported a 22% underlying-profit jump to 10 million pounds, with adjusted earnings per share up 43% to 7.9 pence. The dividend was raised by 5% to 3.15 pence per share, offering a yield of 3.6% at the current share price.
The firm was pretty optimistic in its outlook, too, suggesting that its plans for growth, partly by acquisition, are going well.
St Ives (LSE: SIV.L )
St Ives added 2% to reach 105.5 pence after the marketing and print group said its current financial year had gotten off to a good start. Although revenue is running flat, changing the mix of business away from commoditized print services and toward marketing services has boosted margins, and operating profits are ahead of the same period last year.
The share price is up around 20% on the year, but forecasts still put the shares on a P/E of only 6.3, and so far it's looking like City profit expectations are realistic.
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