The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is up 33 points to 6,577 as I write, as fresh GDP data from China have relieved some fears and given the FTSE’s miners one of their occasional up days. That’s only a rise of 0.5%, mind, so it shouldn’t be too hard to beat that today, should it?
Well, it’s hard to say, with a number of shares rising by a similar percentage. Here are three from the indices that stand a good chance of ending the day higher:
BG Group shares picked up 8p (0.7%) to 1,185p this morning, after the firm announced the appointment of a new chief financial officer (CFO). He is none other than current AstraZeneca CFO Simon Lowth, who will take up his new role in November, replacing current incumbent Den Jones who has acted in an interim role since February.
Chief executive Chris Finlayson said of Mr Lowth “Simon knows the gas and power industry well and has a good background in engineering. He brings with him a great combination of finance, capital allocation, value-based planning, portfolio management and strategy skills”.
Shares in AstraZeneca fell by 11.5p (0.4%) to 3,256p on the news.
Shares in Interserve (LSE: IRV) gained 4p (0.8%) to 513p on news of the acquisition of Topaz Oil and Gas, from Renaissance of Oman. The deal cost Interserve £30m and establishes the company’s presence in the UAE — and strengthens its position in the Middle East in general.
The small price rise adds to a strong year for Interserve shares, which are more than 50% up over the past 12 months. Even after that, they’re still only on a P/E of 11 based on December 2013 forecasts, with a dividend yield of 4.2% predicted. The P/E drops to 9.6 and the yield rises to 4.5% for 2014 estimates.
Software and services supplier Quindell Portfolio (LSE: QPP) saw its share price gain 0.5p (4.8%) to 11p this morning after the firm announced another new contract — this time with Renault to provide accident management services in the UK. Quindell will apparently “provide first notification of loss, credit hire, repair and personal injury elements of the claims process as well as process all the management information“.
The market still seems very uncertain about Quindell, valuing its shares on a P/E of only 4.6 based on forecasts for the year to December 2013, even with a 60% growth in earnings forecast.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.