Essar Energy (LSE: ESSR) and Cranswick (LSE: CWK) post strong gains.
After perking up towards the end of last week, the FTSE 100 (UKX) dropped back a little today, and at 5,791 is 27 points (0.5%) down on the day so far. There doesn't appear to be any significant economic or business news that might be behind the fall, so maybe the FTSE just doesn't like Mondays. Can't say I blame it.
But even if the index of the biggest UK stocks is slow getting off the mark this week, some individual companies are doing just fine. Here are three that are on the up today:
Essar Energy (LSE: ESSR) gained a nice (6.1p) 5% to 127p today, after managing to double its interim sales though the expansion of its Indian refining capacity and the acquisition of a UK facility. Revenue for the six months to 30 September rose by 97%, to $12.8 billion.
Although Essar recorded a pre-tax loss, that did include considerable one-offs, including the costs of commissioning refinery capacity, and the firm reckons it achieved adjusted EBITDA of $582.6 million, nearly trebling the figure from the comparable period last year.
Pork processor Cranswick (LSE: CWK) released positive interim results, which gave the shares an 85p (11.7%) boost to 825p. Although higher pig prices -- which are carrying on into the second half -- have been a concern, the firm managed a 21% rise in pre-tax profit to £22.5 million in the first half.
The interim dividend has been lifted from 9p to 9.4p per share, and net debt is down to £32.2 million, from £48.2 million at the same stage last year. Forecasts for the full year suggest a dividend yield of around 4%, with the shares on a P/E of under 10.
Betfair Group (LSE: BET) has been dogged by uncertainties over regulation in Greece, and as a result has decided to exit from that market until the rules are clarified. As Betfair had been expecting to see a reasonable contribution to profits from Greece, the shares initially fell, but recovered to 760p (up 1.4%) by early afternoon. Presumably the market values the reduction in uncertainty over the possibility of greater, but riskier, profits.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.