LONDON -- What does the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) do every day lately? It breaks its 52-week record, that's what. And it has done it again today, reaching 6,190 points as of 8:55 a.m. EST. The index's gainers today are spread across the sectors, with oil and gas, financials, retail, and engineering all up.
A number of companies in the various indexes are on the way up today. Here are three that are in the news for good reasons.
Unilever (LSE:ULVR) (NYSE:UL)
The big news today is the release of final results from Unilever, which led to a 3% jump in the share price to 2,526 pence. That pushes the shares up about 25% over the past 12 months.
Turnover for the year is up 10.5% to 51.3 billion euros, though that was boosted a little by currency-exchange gains. But underlying sales grew by 6.9%, which is still pretty nice. And while the developed world of Europe and America might have been through a touch economic patch, emerging markets led the way for Unilever, with underlying sales up 11.4%. Emerging markets now account for 55% of the company's turnover. Core earnings per share gained 11% to 1.57 euros.
Shares in Nanoco Group, which develops nanoparticle technology, have soared 21.2% to 133 pence this morning on news of a licensing deal with Dow Chemical. The U.S. giant is to license Nanoco's cadmium-free quantum dot technology; apparently it's clever stuff used in LCD displays. Dow will manufacture and market the technology.
Nanoco's share price has now more than doubled over the past year. The company has yet to make a profit and is not easy to value, but this could be the start of something good.
Oil explorer EnQuest's shares have risen 3% to 128 pence after the company revealed that it has acquired 8% of the Alba oil field on the U.K. Continental Shelf. The deal was done by the acquisition of two affiliate companies of CIECO Energy and will cost EnQuest an initial cash payment of 18.75 million pounds, with a possible further 500,000 pounds dependent upon achieving certain milestones.
EnQuest shares have been somewhat erratic this year, and on current expectations for the year to December they're valued on a price-to-earnings ratio of eight. Prior to today's news, earnings per share were forecast to fall about 25% in 2013, but the new acquisition is likely to affect that now.
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