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Why Wolseley plc, Experian plc and St. Modwen Properties plc Should Beat The FTSE 100 Today

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) had slipped 34 points by early afternoon to 6,428  after budget wrangling led to the first partial shutdown of US government activity for 17 years.

A fall in Unilever shares after the company warned of slowing growth didn’t help, and the big miners are continuing to slip.

But some shares, at least, are having a good day. Here are three from the FTSE indices that are rising:

Wolseley

Full-year results sent Wolseley shares up 39p (1.2%) to 3,236p after the plumbing and heating merchant saw revenue from ongoing businesses boosted by 4.1% to £12.9bn, with a like-for-like increase of 2.9%.

Pre-tax profits climbed from £198m to £473m, but there was a big hit from exceptional items last year. Headline earnings per share (EPS) rose 8% to 181.8p, and the total dividend was lifted 10% to 66p per share to provide a yield of 2%.

But the big news was the proposed return of £300m to shareholders via a special dividend expected to be paid in December. There is a share consolidation on the cards, too.

Experian

Shares in credit services firm Experian (LSE: EXPN) climbed 19p (1.6%) to 1,196p in response to news of a new acquisition.

The company is to acquire US fraud detection expert 41st Parameter for a total of $324m, with $14m of that subject to performance conditions.

Experian shares are up around 15% over the past 12 months, pretty much bang in line with the FTSE, and five straight years of EPS growth with two more forecast have helped push its P/E multiple up to nearly 20. Dividends are around the 2% mark.

St. Modwen Properties

A bit of life returning to the property market has helped drive shares in St. Modwen Properties (LSE: SMP) up 50% over the past year, and today the price got a 4.3p (1.4%) boost from a third-quarter update.

The regeneration specialist said it had “continued to perform strongly […] against the backdrop of an ongoing strengthening of the housing market and a greater sense of optimism in the regional commercial property sector“.

Residential demand is growing, and St Modwen says it has a healthy development pipeline in commercial development. The firm’s income portfolio is also said to be performing well.

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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Unilever.