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Why The Sage Group plc, AMEC plc and St. Modwen Properties Should Beat The FTSE 100 Today

After crashing a further 63 points yesterday to close on 6,532, the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) has paused for breath today with just a 5-point fall to 6,527 by late morning. That’s a big fall on the week so far of 124 points, and it looks like we’re on for five weeks of losses in a row.

It’s been another day of little news as we head towards the festive quiet spell, but we do have some meaningful share price movements. Here are three from the FTSE indices starting off well today:

Sage Group

Sage Group shares stormed ahead in response to full-year results headlined “Strategy delivering, growth accelerating“, with the price climbing 26.6p (7.7%) to 374p.

Reporting underlying figures, the business software supplier told us of a 4% rise in revenue to £1,261m, with pre-tax profit up 1% to £360.5m and earnings per share up 12% to 22.27p. The dividend was lifted 6% to 11.32p per share.

Chief executive Guy Berruyer said “We remain confident of achieving our target of 6% organic revenue growth in 2015, and anticipate further progress during the year ahead“.

AMEC

We saw a more modest rise in AMEC (LSE: AMEC) shares, of 8p (0.7%) to 1,105p, after the oil & gas support firm reported a new contract.

Worth $124m (£76m), the project management contract with Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company is for five years, and extends AMEC’s earlier phase 1 work into phase 2 of the offshore Umm Lulu development in the United Arab Emirates.

The company told us that “The complex will comprise six bridge-linked platforms including gathering, separation, gas treatment and water disposal facilities, utilities and accommodation modules“.

St. Modwen Properties

St. Modwen Properties (LSE: SMP) shares got a 9.8p (2.8%) boost to 362p, taking the price up more than 60% over the past 12 months, after a trading update told us of two new transactions.

St. Modwen has signed a lease on a new Marks & Spencer outlet — it is planned to be one of the anchors for phase 2 the town centre development in Longbridge, and covers 150,000 sq ft. In addition, the firm has submitted plans for further retail space and a car park, with the M&S store opening targeted for Christmas 2015.

In the other deal, St. Modwen joint venture Key Properties Investments has sold the Elephant and Castle retail, leisure and office complex for £80m, which is “significantly above” book value.

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