The Motley Fool

Why Compass Group plc, United Utilities Group PLC and Galliford Try plc Should Beat The FTSE 100 Today

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) finished yesterday on a downer, ending the day with a 58-point fall to 6,636. So far today it has recovered a little, up 14 points to 6,650, but it will have to do better than that by Friday if the index of the UK’s biggest shares is to avoid a fourth successive losing week.

Which shares have helped boost the FTSE indices this morning? Here are three:

5 Stocks For Trying To Build Wealth After 50

Markets around the world are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic… and with so many great companies trading at what look to be ‘discount-bin’ prices, now could be the time for savvy investors to snap up some potential bargains.

But whether you’re a newbie investor or a seasoned pro, deciding which stocks to add to your shopping list can be a daunting prospect during such unprecedented times.

Fortunately, The Motley Fool UK analyst team have short-listed five companies that they believe STILL boast significant long-term growth prospects despite the global upheaval…

We’re sharing the names in a special FREE investing report that you can download today. And if you’re 50 or over, we believe these stocks could be a great fit for any well-diversified portfolio.

Click here to claim your free copy now!

Compass

Compass Group (LSE: CPG) shares are up 23.5p (2.5%) to 950p by mid-morning, taking the price up nearly 30% over the past 12 months, after the catering group reported a 9.2% rise in underlying pre-tax profit for the full year to £1,188m. That came after revenue rose by 4.3% to £17.6bn.

Underlying earnings per share climbed by 12.5% to 47.7p, and the firm lifted its dividend by 12.7% to 24p per share for a modest yield of 2.5% on the current share price.

Looking ahead, chief executive Richard Cousins said “I remain positive about the exciting structural growth opportunities in all of our markets and the potential for further progress“.

United Utilities

It was an interim report that did the trick for United Utilities Group (LSE: UU), sending its shares up 10.2p (1.5%) to 667p.

Revenue for the six months to 30 September gained 3.7% to £853.3m, with underlying operating profit up 9% to £343.2m. The interim dividend was raised 5% to 12.01p — a similar full-year rise would provide a yield of 5.4%, which is one of the best on the market.

Chief executive Steve Mogford told us that “We are discounting prices next year so that customers do not pay the full allowed price increase, meaning that, on average, bills will go up by no more than inflation“.

Galliford Try

Galliford Try (LSE: GFRD) shares have done well this year, soaring by more than 60% over the past 12 months. And the climb was assisted by an early 18p (1.6%) rise to 1,119p today after the construction group announced a new contract.

Morrison Construction, one of Galliford Try’s subsidiaries, has been appointed preferred contractor for two new school developments in Scotland. The deal, which will see Morrison Construction build the new Kelso High School, and the Newbattle Community High School in Midlothian, is worth £48m and should lead to completion by 2016.

Is this little-known company the next ‘Monster’ IPO?

Right now, this ‘screaming BUY’ stock is trading at a steep discount from its IPO price, but it looks like the sky is the limit in the years ahead.

Because this North American company is the clear leader in its field which is estimated to be worth US$261 BILLION by 2025.

The Motley Fool UK analyst team has just published a comprehensive report that shows you exactly why we believe it has so much upside potential.

But I warn you, you’ll need to act quickly, given how fast this ‘Monster IPO’ is already moving.

Click here to see how you can get a copy of this report for yourself today

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

Our 6 'Best Buys Now' Shares

Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.

So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we're offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our 'no quibbles' 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee.

Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this.