Why Thomas Cook Group plc, Rio Tinto plc and Premier Oil PLC Should Beat The FTSE 100 Today

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) opened downward, but by mid-morning it has recovered to a 29-point rise on the day to 6,679. A coalition deal for the German government seems to be behind the uplift, restoring a bit of confidence to European markets. But that only takes the index up four points on the week so far, giving us no real idea of whether it will end its three-week losing streak.

But what of individual successes? Here are three from the FTSE indices bringing cheer to shareholders today:

Thomas Cook

“Back from the dead” doesn’t tell half the story, after Thomas Cook Group shares have seven-bagged since being written off a year ago — and they got a nice 16p (10.4%) lift this morning to 169p after chief executive Harriet Green said “I am delighted to report that the first 365 days in the transformation of Thomas Cook have been a great success“.

For the year to 30 September, underlying EBIT was up 49% from a year previously to £263m, and the travel agent’s pre-tax loss was slashed by 65% to £207m. Last year’s statutory loss per share of 67.2p was cut to just 16.7p.

The company turned cash-flow positive over the year, and net debt has been cut from £788m to £421m. A return to pre-tax profit and positive earnings is forecast for 2014.

Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto shareholders have had a leaner year, with their shares gaining less than 10% and lagging the FTSE. But there was a 91p (2.9%) boost for the Beginners’ Portfolio constituent this morning as the diversified miner revealed its iron ore expansion plans for Western Australia.

The firm now expects production capacity to “rapidly increase towards 360 million tonnes a year“, with capital cost per tonne undercutting previous plans. Production should grow by 60 million tonnes or more per year until 2017, and is predicted to reach 330 million tonnes in 2015.

Premier Oil

Premier Oil (LSE: PMO) shareholders have had the worst 12 months of the three here, with their shares losing 5% to 314.6p. But that does at least come after a 6.5p (2.1%) lift today after the firm brought us good news from two of its production facilities.

Repairs to a gas pipeline in Vietnam have been completed, and export recommenced on 23 November with full production levels expected shortly. And production at the company’s North Sea Huntington oil field is back up to 20,000 barrels per day following the lifting of restrictions, with remaining restrictions expected to be gone soon.

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