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Why BHP Billiton plc, Fresnillo Plc And Quindell Portfolio PLC Should Beat The FTSE 100 Today

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The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) started the day well after positive production updates from the mining sector continued, but minutes from the latest Bank of England meeting had a negative effect as it became clear that members had voted unanimously against further bond purchases. With the US Federal Reserve’s enthusiasm for stimulus apparently waning, we could be seeing the end of quantitative easing sooner than many would like.

But we have some upward movements in individual shares today. Here are three companies in the various indices that are responding well to good news.:

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BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton (LSE: BLT) (NYSE: BBL.US) shares are up 24.5p (1.3%) to 1,857p after the company announced a “strong year of production“, with annual records being beaten for seven of the firm’s operations and in five commodities. Iron ore production in Australia and the Escondida mine in Chile both exceeded production guidance.

Billiton’s shares have ticked up around 10% since the start of July, so could this week’s positive reports mark the turnaround point for the sector? We shall have to see, but we do have earnings growth of around 20% forecast for Billiton for the year to June 2014.

Fresnillo

Precious metals miners weren’t left out today, with a production report sending Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) shares up 19p (1.9%) by late morning. After production was ramped up at Saucito, silver production for the three months to 30 June rose by 6.3% to 10.9 million ounces. Gold production came in at 118,315 ounces, which was ahead of the previous quarter but was 6.8% down on the same period last year.

According to chief executive Octavio Alvídrez, the firm is on target to meet full-year expectations. But even after a share price fall of more than 25% over the past 12 months, a falling earnings forecast puts the shares on a P/E of around 23.

Quindell Portfolio

Quindell Portfolio (LSE: QPP) shares bounced back today, picking up 0.4p (3.5%) to 11.1p, after the software specialist told us it expects to see approximately £166m in sales for the six months to 30 June, with pre-tax profit of around £43m and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of about 1.1p. Overall, things are said to be “in line or ahead of half year expectations and guidance“.

With EPS growth of 60% forecast for the full year, Quindell shares are on a forward P/E of under 5, so something clearly has to change. Whichever way things go, it’ll be well worth watching.

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

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