The FTSE 100 (UKX) is hovering around 15 points up, at 5,801, at the time of writing, reversing a small fall from yesterday. 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 UK stocks in any real 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) shares perked up 9p (4%) to 239p today -- a welcome move that saw a little of this year's 45% loss regained. The aerospace and defence 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 defence spending in the US, the UK and Europe. But even with all that, City forecasts put the shares on a price to earnings (P/E) ratio of less than 6, so there could still be a decent long-term bargain there for the brave.
Renew (LSE: RNWH) gained 5.5p for a nice 7% rise to 87.5p following the release of full-year results. The engineering contractor saw revenues fall 4% to Â£337 million, but reported a 22% underlying profit jump to Â£10 million, with adjusted earnings per share up 43% to 7.9p. The dividend was raised by 5% to 3.15p per share, offering a yield 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) added 2.5p (2%) to reach 105.5p after the marketing and print group said its current financial year had got off to a good start. Although revenues are running flat, changing the mix of business away from commoditised print services and towards 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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>Alan Oscroft does not own any shares mentioned in this article.