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Why Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc, BHP Billiton plc and GKN plc Should Beat The FTSE 100 Today

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is still creeping up, after putting on 32 points yesterday to end on 6,654. So far today the UK’s biggest index has added 4 points to 6,658, amid a raft of mixed results from our top companies. If the FTSE can manage another positive day today, it will have risen for nine days in a row, so we might still have a bit of a bull run before the year is out.

Which top-drawer shares are doing well today? Here are three on the up:

Reckitt Benckiser

A 5% rise in third-quarter revenue helped boost Reckitt Benckiser Group this morning, and its shares responded with a 268p (6%) rise to 4,768p. Like-for-like sales for the quarter were up 3%, with the year to date bringing in a total revenue rise of 6% with like-for-like up 5%.

Chief executive Rakesh Kapoor said that “Reckitt Benckiser’s focus on Health and Hygiene and emerging markets” is helping to deliver good results, although he does warn that markets conditions are still tough.

Forecasts for the full year suggest flat earnings, and there’s a dividend yield of 3.1% predicted, with is about average for the FTSE 100.

BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton (LSE: BLT) (NYSE: BBL.US) shares picked up 55.5p (3%) in early trading to reach 1,929p, after the diversified miner brought us a first-quarter operational review.

Production rose 11% over the corresponding period a year ago, and thanks to improvements in Australian operations, iron ore guidance for the full year has been raised to 212 million tonnes.

Guidance for petroleum, copper and coal is unchanged, after petroleum production for the quarter hit a record of 62.7 million barrels of oil equivalent.

GKN

GKN‘s third-quarter statement today gave its shares a 7.6p (2.1%) boost to 370p. The aerospace and automotive engineer told us of a 16% rise in sales from last year’s Q3 to £1.87bn, resulting in a 34% rise in pre-tax profit to £131m. For the nine months, we saw sales and pre-tax profit both up 13%.

Chief executive Nigel Stein told us that the quarter’s progress was “supported by automotive demand in China and North America and sustained high output levels in commercial aerospace“.

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