Why IMI plc, Dixons Retail PLC and QinetiQ Group plc Should Beat The FTSE 100 Today

Further economic stimulus from the Bank of England looks less likely now, after governor Mark Carney suggested the strengthening economy means there’s no need for any more bond purchases. Coupled with the expectations of a similar decision from the US, that’s led to further nervousness today, and the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is down 46 points to 6,519 by late morning.

It’s not going to take big rises to beat the FTSE today, so which companies are managing it? Here are three from the various indices that are having a good day.


Passing on the mantle of responsibility can be a traumatic time for a company, and IMI has that responsibility after announcing today that chief executive Martin Lamb will step down from the post at the end of 2013 and retire from the board at next year’s AGM. But they already have a replacement lined up in the shape of Mark Selway who, in his time, has served as chief executive of Weir Group.

Shareholders appear satisfied with the new appointment, sending the shares up 17p (1.2%) to 1,470p. And Mr Lamb is leaving on a high, with IMI shares up 60% over the past 12 months — he has presided over a period of good earnings and dividend growth for the company.

Dixons Retail

The sale of PIXmania by Dixons Retail (LSE: DXNS) is going according to plan, and the firm announced today that the agreement has now been signed after the required employee consultations were concluded. The buyer is German-listed mutares AG, and the head of murates France told us “I am very pleased that we are now able to proceed with this transaction following positive discussions with employee representatives“.

Dixons shares gained 0.4p (1%) to 47.4p, and are now up nearly 150% over the past 12 months after one of the most impressive high street turnarounds in recent years. The shares are on a P/E of 20 based on this year’s forecasts, but we are expecting a 60% rise in earnings, and 2015 predictions drop the P/E to 15.


QinetiQ Group (LSE: QQ) posted our third gain today, of 1p (0.5%) to 195.5p, after releasing an update ahead of first half results — which should be with us on 21 November. Not much has changed really, with the company confirming its previous year-end guidance from March. The firm’s divisions are performing fine and cash generation is strong, and basically everything is “in line with expectations”.

Those expectations suggest a fall in underlying pre-tax profit, and a drop in underlying earnings per share of around 30% for the year to March 2014, but things should settle by 2015. A rise in the dividend, to a well-covered 4.1p per share, is forecast, though that would yield only 2.2%.

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