easyJet plc (LON:EZJ), Ladbrokes PLC (LON:LAD) and Chemring Group plc (LON:CHG) are among today's early winners.
Yesterday I wondered how long it would be before the FTSE 100 broke the 6,200 level. Until shortly after the markets opened this morning, was the answer. The index of top UK stocks was boosted by rises from the mining sector and Vodafone, and hit a new 52-week high of 6,218, where it stands at the time of writing.
That early boost came despite initial market gloom surrounding computing giant Apple, whose latest figures came in below expectations.
Which companies are helping the various FTSE indices to new records? Here are three responding well to news today:
Success at easyJet (LSE: EZJ) continues, with revenue for the quarter to 31 December climbing by 9.2% to £833 million. That came from two sources -- revenue per seat grew by 3.9% (or 8% on a constant currency basis), with the total number of passengers up 6.2% to 13.7 million.
The news gave the shares a further boost, taking them up another 32.5p (3.8%) in early trading, to 887.5p. The price has now more than doubled over the past 12 months, and is up 2.6-fold since the start of the current bull run in September.
Ladbrokes (LSE: LAD) shares picked up 4.5p (2.3%) this morning, to reach 204p, briefly touching a new 52-week high of 207p on the way. The price has now risen by 45% over the past 12 months, but even after that, expected figures for December 2012 put it on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of only 11.5, with a 4.3% dividend yield expected.
The reason for today's rise? Ladbrokes has agreed the acquisition of Global Betting Exchange Alderney, the operator of the Betdaq betting exchange, for an initial payment of €30 million.
Defence countermeasures specialist Chemring Group (LSE: CHG) gained a nice 18p (6.3%) to reach 300p today, despite results for the year ended 31 October 2012 showing a 78% fall in pre-tax profit. After recent profit warnings, a big fall was expected, but the firm told us that the underlying figure represented a much smaller 42% drop.
Although the company still expects a tough 2013, the appointment of new chief executive Mark Papworth to replace the ousted David Price, and the company's subsequent plans to cut costs, integrate some parts of its businesses, and simplify management, have brought some optimism.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Vodafone.