LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) is perking up today, having risen 0.82% to 6,370 by 10 a.m. EST. That's not far below its recent peak of 6,385. Improving sentiment from Germany helped boost the index, with economic analysts increasingly predicting a return to economic growth.
But what's happening to individual companies? Here are three whose shares are rising today.
Shares in Drax Group, the owner and operator of the Drax Power station in Selby, North Yorkshire, are up 5.3% to 636.5 pence in response to full-year results. The shares are now up more than 20% over the past year.
Profit did fall, and it's forecast to fall next year as well. But that's expected, as Drax is in the process of converting from coal to sustainable biomass. Chief executive Dorothy Thompson said, "However, as we move beyond this investment phase and replace substantial quantities of coal with sustainable biomass, we are confident that we will deliver attractive returns for our shareholders, who have provided us with strong support."
Dairy Crest (LSE:DCG)
Dairy Crest Group told us today that it has had its contract to supply milk to J Sainsbury extended after a competitive process. The new contract is for a further three years starting in February 2014 through to 2017. The firm also reminded us that it is on track to deliver savings of 23 million pounds for the year ending March.
This news pushed Dairy Crest shares up 1.6% to 428 pence, putting them on a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 14 based on current forecasts, but that falls to 12 for 2014.
Motor dealer Pendragon announced an 18% rise in underlying pre-tax profit today, sending its shares up 4.4% to 22 pence. In what is described as a recovering vehicle market, the company took in 3.6 billion pounds in revenue for the year do December 2012, extracting pre-tax profit of 36.4 million pounds in the process.
Underlying earnings per share did fall by 13% to 2 pence, but the firm also got its net debt down by 12% to 216.4 million pounds.
Coming out of a recession when depressed share prices are rising, the odds can be tipped in favor of growth investors. But finding the best growth shares is not easy. If you want some help with the task, I recommend you get yourself a copy of our brand-new report "The Motley Fool's Top Growth Share For 2013," which is the result of some serious brain-work by the Fool's top analysts. It's completely free of charge, but it will be available for a limited period only. So click here to get your copy today.
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. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
More from The Motley Fool
Dairy Crest Group Retains J Sainsbury Contract
Dairy Crest will continue supplying milk to J Sainsbury as its share price reaches a five-year high.
3 Shares the FTSE 100 Should Beat Today
ICAP, Dairy Crest, and Carclo all fall, though the news doesn't seem bad.
3 FTSE Shares Hitting New Highs
Bovis, Dairy Crest, and IMI all reach for the sky.