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Why BP plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Stagecoach Group plc Should Beat The FTSE 100 Today

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is in a buoyant mood ahead of the start of the US Federal Reserve’s next two-day meeting starting today. The banking sector is having a down day overall, but BP’s results-led surge helped to offset that and send London’s top index to its highest level since May. 

Which shares are supporting the FTSE indices today? Here are three:

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BP

BP shares climbed a very nice 21.8p (4.8%) to 474p this morning, after the oil & gas giant raised its third-quarter dividend by 5.6% to 9.5 cents (6p) per share — a similar rise for the full year would provide an attractive yield of 4.7% based on the current share price.

Underlying replacement-cost profit for the quarter did decline by 26%, to $3.7bn from $5bn in the third quarter of 2012, but that was better than the City had expected and represented a 36% gain on the second quarter of this year.

Based on full-year forecasts, BP shares are now on a forward P/E of only a bit over 9, with a 5% dividend yield expected — and those figures improve to 8 and 5.5% respectively for 2014 predictions. Cheap? I think so, which is why BP is in the Fool’s Beginners’ Portfolio.

Royal Dutch Shell

Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB) (NYSE: RDS-B.US) shares also had a good day, gaining 22.9p (1%) to 2,263p by midday. Some of that would have been due to a spread of optimism from BP to the sector as a whole, but Shell also updated us today on the progress of its current share buyback programme — on 28 October, the company bought 300,000 of its B shares for cancellation, at a price of 2,232p per share.

Shell shares are also arguably cheap right now, with forecasts for this year putting them on the same forward P/E as BP, of just over 9, and it falls to under 9 for 2014. Predicted dividend yields for this year and next stand at 5.1% and 5.2% respectively.

Stagecoach

Stagecoach Group (LSE: SGC) shares have soared 2.5-fold since their low point in 2009, comfortably outstripping the FTSE along the way. And today they got a 4p (1.2%) boost to reach 338p, after a trading update ahead of a planned pow-wow with analysts told us that things are going smoothly.

The firm’s London bus operations saw like-for-like year-to-date revenue dip by 1.6%, but all of its other operations enjoyed nice rises. Regional bus services in the UK gained 5%, with UK rail operations seeing a 3% increase. The firm’s stake in Virgin Rail saw 6.1% more revenue, and its North American operations raked in a rise of 7.3%.

Stagecoach’s guidance for full-year earnings remains unchanged, with the shares on a forward P/E of 13.

5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!

According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US $12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…

And if you click here, we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential...

It’s just ONE innovation from a little-known US company that has quietly spent years preparing for this exact moment…

But you need to get in before the crowd catches onto this ‘sleeping giant’.

Click here to learn more.

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

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