LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) has been held back today by a cut in the World Bank's global growth forecasts from 3% to 2.4%, as well as the overnight weakening in Asian markets. By 10:05 a.m. EST, the index of the U.K.'s biggest companies is down seven points to 6,110, though that's really not much of a dent in its New Year hot streak.
But even if the index is having a bit of a rest today, there are still individual companies that are rising nicely. We take a quick look at three that are on the way up.
Engineer Fenner got a boost today from its interim management statement, with its share price rising 0.8% to 396 pence. Trading is still going in line with the expectations announced at the time of the firm's last annual results in November, suggesting the current year should produce fairly flat earnings.
Current forecasts put the shares on a forward price-to-earnings ratio of about 11, falling to 10 based on 2014 predictions, and there are dividend yields of 2.5% to 3% in the cards.
Smart Metering (LSE:SMS)
Smart Metering Systems has picked up 4.1% to reach 252 pence, adding to the 150%-plus growth the shares have already seen this year. The firm, which provides commercial gas-metering systems and manages resulting databases, told us of "continued strong trading performance across all business areas" today and now thinks its full-year results will be about 10% ahead of market expectations.
The share price has tripled since late 2011, which is nice for early shareholders,
Communications services firm Communisis is up 3% to 49 pence after an upbeat trading statement pleased the market. Things are going according to expectations, with international expansion being one of the firm's highlights: Overseas business accounted for approximately 7% of revenue for the year ended December.
Net debt has been cut from 24.7 million pounds at the end of 2011 to 21 million pounds, and we were told that the firm's pipeline is strong, with new contracts with BT and Nationwide Building Society set to bring profits in 2013.
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