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Why Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited, Lloyds Banking Group PLC and Stobart Group Ltd Should Beat The FTSE 100 Today

With a fall of 13 points to 6,520 by mid-afternoon, the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) doesn’t look like it should be too hard to beat today. There are more of the usual fears, like stimulus tapering and Syria, causing glum faces today, but a large part of the drop is due to a 5% fall in BG Group shares after the company announced project delays.

 But with the FTSE down, what’s beating it? Here are three doing just that:

Gulf Keystone Petroleum

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (LSE: GKP) shares picked up 5.7p (3.1%) to 189p on the day the company released a litigation update. Claims made by Excalibur Ventures against Gulf Keystone will be heard at the Commercial Court in London at 10:30 on 10 September. Trading of the firm’s shares on AIM will be suspended from 07:30 that day until after Gulf Keystone releases an RNS with details of the decision, which should be later the same day.

Gulf Keystone’s shares have been recovering a little since May, but are still down more than 20% over the past 12 months. There are no profits expected this year, but analysts are forecasting positive earnings per share (EPS) in 2014.

Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) (NYSE: LYG.US) shares are up a modest 1p (1.2%) to 76p today, on the day that TSB made its return to the high street. The shares have now more than doubled over the past 12 months, so the taxpayers’ deal is looking better.

It a condition of that deal that the bank should be split into two parts again, and TSB will be sold off as a separate company next year. But we’d better hope the eventual split goes more smoothly than the TSB brand’s relaunch today – the website crashed on the critical day and has been suffering intermittent problems.

Stobart Group

Stobart Group (LSE: STOB) shares have staged a strong recovery since mid-June, and after having been down around 35%, they’re now at the break-even point over the past 12 months.

Today we saw a 4p (3.5%) rise after the firm announced a new agreement, with Greensphere, for the supply of a million tonnes of biomass fuel per year for its current and planned power plants.

Though there’s an EPS drop of nearly 20% forecast for the year to February 2014, analysts are predicting a rebound of better than 25% next year, and Stobart’s dividends are expected to be maintained at a yield of 5.3%

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