Rank (LSE: RNK) rises on nice profits, and Innovation (LSE: TIG) sees new hope.
The FTSE 100 (UKX) still seems to be going nowhere this week, up just 13 points to 5,847 by midday and bringing us a pretty flat week overall -- banks have been inching up, miners have been slipping, with an overall "not much happening" look. Still, that's a lot better than the wild swings that we've seen every time a fresh eurocrisis has hit, so we should probably be thankful.
And individual constituents of the various FTSE indices have been ploughing their own furrows regardless, so here's a quick look at three that are set the beat the FTSE today...
Rank Group (LSE: RNK) enjoyed a nice morning, rising 7.5p (6%) to 133p after hiking its full-year dividend by 35% to 3.6p per share -- that's a yield of 2.7%. Revenue for the year to 30 June rose by 3.4% to £600.5m, and from that the firm managed to extract a 9% increase in adjusted pre-tax profit to £61.5m, and a 13.7% boost in adjusted earnings per share to 11.6p. The dividend, though modest, is more than thrice covered by earnings.
Ian Burke, chairman of the gaming and leisure group that owns such well-known brands as Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos, said: "While the current economic conditions remain challenging we have continued to increase the popularity of our brands and we look forward to the future with optimism."
Innovation Group (LSE: TIG) perked up a little in early trading after the release of its latest management statement. It was only a 0.4p (2%) rise to 19.65p, but it did help to build on the modest recovery that has lifted the shares by 6% since the start of the month.
The firm, which provides software and services to the insurance, fleet, automotive and property sectors, told us that trading has "continued positively", and that it it seeing strong operating cash flow. A final settlement has been reached over litigation with Allstate Insurance Company of Canada, at no further cost.
There's modest earnings growth forecast for the full year, but analysts have a 23% rise pencilled in for 2013 -- although we do need to be cautious about forecasts so far out.
Barclays (LSE: BARC) led the banks today, with its shares gaining 5.8p (3%) to 192p in morning trading, topping up a 27% rise since 25 July, as the shares recover from their hammering due to the bank's part in the Libor-fixing scandal.
With other banks following -- Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) is also up 3%, to 34p -- and the recent Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) Iranian transactions scare receding, is the banking sector finally getting back to some stable long-term growth?
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.