Why British Sky Broadcasting Group plc, easyJet plc and DS Smith plc Should Beat The FTSE 100 Today

The mood definitely seems to be turning bearish for the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE), after the index put in its third losing day of the week yesterday with a 22-point fall to 6,510. Today it has slipped a further 4 points to 6,506, taking it down 144 points on the week — a fifth straight week of losses looks pretty much inevitable.

But at least there are some shares bucking the trend today. Here are three that look set to beat the FTSE indices:

British Sky Broadcasting

British Sky Broadcasting Group (LSE: BSY) (NASDAQOTH: BSYBY.US) shares have been on a slump since BT snatched those European football rights from under the satellite telly firm’s nose, and the price has just about lost the 20% gain it had made over the year.

But the shares ticked up a bit today, gaining 10p (1.3%) to 795p. The only news is of the company’s ongoing share buyback — another 250,000 shares were bought yesterday at an average price of 800p, and today Sky will purchase a further 160,764 shares at the same price.

If the slump proves to have been overdone, at least someone will have been hoovering up bargain-priced shares.


November passenger statistics gave easyJet (LSE: EZJ) shares a small boost today, sending them up 7p (0.5%) to 1,414p — not a big rise, but ahead of a dull-looking FTSE.

The budget airline enjoyed a 3.4% rise in bums on seats, carrying 4,255,978 passengers during the month, although its load factor dropped a little, from 89.6% to 89.0%. Over a rolling 12 months, passenger numbers are up 3.7% and the load factor is up 0.6 percentage points.

easyJet shares are now up more than 90% over the past 12 months.

DS Smith

For bigger gains, we need to look outside the top index, and we see FTSE 250 constituent DS Smith (LSE: SMDS) up 19p (6.3%) to 318p on very strong first-half results.

The supplier of recycled packaging recorded a 25% rise in revenue to £2,081m, with pre-tax profit up 52% to £85m and earnings per share up 30% to 11.2p. The interim dividend was lifted 28% to 3.2p per share.

DS Smith shares are approaching a 50% rise over the past 12 months.

Finally, if you're looking for investments that should take you all the way to a comfortable retirement, I recommend the Fool's special report detailing five blue-chip shares. They'll be familiar names to many, and they've already provided investors with decades of profits.

But the report will only be available for a limited period, so click here to get your hands on these great ideas -- they could set you on the road to long-term riches.

> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in BSkyB.