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Why Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited, Balfour Beatty plc And Stagecoach Group plc Should Beat The FTSE 100 Today

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is continuing its cautious recovery, gaining 67 points to reach 6,169 by midday, even though there is no real news to counter the reasons for the fall — the US Federal Reserve has not backtracked on its suggestion it will wind down its economic stimulus later this year, and there is nothing new from China. It all seems rather silly to me, this panic-led sell-off one day followed by punters just piling back in the next.

But it all makes for opportunities for rational long-term investors, so let’s have a look at three shares from the various indices that are beating the FTSE today and which have the potential for long-term rewards:

Gulf Keystone

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (LSE: GKP) got a 6.3p (4.3%) boost to 153p this morning, after the oil & gas explorer announced the approval of its development plan for the Shaikan field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

The field sounds like a pretty big one, with early capacity expected to quickly reach 20,000 barrels of oil per day, rising to 40,000 bopd when a second production facility comes on line. Over the longer term, Gulf Keystone expects the field to be pumping 150,000 bopd in three years and 250,000 bopd by 2018.

Balfour Beatty

Balfour Beatty (LSE: BBY) shares, which have been in a slump since late last year, regained 4p (1.7%) to 238p today after the infrastructure developer announced the disposal of its interest in Exeter Airport. The stake will be sold to Patriot Aerospace, the aviation division of Rigby Group. Balfour Beatty had already written its value down to zero, and the proceeds will be used to pay the funders of the original debt-financed purchase.

Chief executive Andrew McNaughton said: “We are pleased to have come to an arrangement with our JV partner and the funders that ensures the future viability of the airport for its staff and the local community it serves.

Stagecoach

Final results sent Stagecoach Group shares up 13p (4.3%) to 313p, after the transport firm announced a bigger-than-expected 18.9% rise in underlying earnings per share and hiked its dividend by 10.3% to 30.2p per share. Total revenue came in 8.2% up at £2.8bn, with underlying pre-tax profit up 8% to £219m.

Chief executive Martin Griffiths told us: “We have achieved ten years of sustainable growth, reflecting our successful strategy of targeting organic growth in our bus networks, rail franchise opportunities and selected acquisitions.

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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.