LONDON -- The FTSE 100
On top of that, a number of companies saw their shares rising nicely today on the back of good news. Here are three from the various FTSE indexes that are on the up and look set to beat the wider market.
Multichannel retailer N Brown Group shot up 11% to 299 pence today after it released results that showed revenue up 4.3% to 379 million pounds for the six months to Sept. 1. Pre-tax profit was down by 4.5% to 42 million pounds, but two key measures were very encouraging: E-commerce sales were up 12%, and sales for the six weeks to Oct. 13 rose by 10%.
The firm lifted its interim dividend by 3% to 5.45 pence per share, and there's a full-year yield of more than 5% forecast, rising to 5.4% for the year to February 2014.
Preliminary results from Smiths News gave the shares a nice 5.3% boost to 140 pence, with underlying pre-tax profits soaring by a forecast-busting 23% to 39 million pounds and underlying earnings per share rocketing 28% to 15.5 pence. Even statutory EPS rose by more than 25%.
That enabled the firm to lift its full-year dividend by 7.5% to 8 pence per share, in line with the recent City consensus -- and supporting a hefty yield of 6%, even after today's share-price rise. Add to that the 60% rise the shares have enjoyed over the past 12 months, and shareholders should be very pleased today.
Strong and rising dividends like these are one of the surest ways to long-term success. You can find out how ace dividend investor Neil Woodford regularly beats the market in the Motley Fool report "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor." Click here to get your free copy while it's still available.
Petropavlovsk was boosted by a third-quarter production report today, which pushed the shares up 3.2% to 441 pence, bringing some cheer after falling sentiment hit precious-metals producers this year.
The firm produced 39% more gold than in the previous quarter and is 11% ahead over a nine-month period and on track to hit full-year targets of 700,000 ounces of gold -- and that's a lot of shiny stuff.
Extracting valuable things out of the ground can be profitable, if risky. But if you're looking at something more useful than gold, the latest Motley Fool report, "How To Unearth Great Oil & Gas Shares," should help you find your way. It's free for a limited time, so click here to get your personal copy.
Further Motley Fool investment opportunities:
Alan Oscroft 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.