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Why Stagecoach Group plc, Barratt Developments Plc and Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc Should Beat The FTSE 100 Today

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is picking up a little today, with a 21-point rise to 6,507 by late morning — but it’s being held back a little by falls from the big supermarkets. Will we get to see a positive week before Christmas after six weeks of losses? Well, the index of top shares is up 67 points since last Friday’s close, so things might be getting better.

Some individual shares are climbing today, but we have to look to the FTSE 250 for any real news-led gains:

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Stagecoach

Stagecoach Group (LSE: SGC) shares picked up a modest 3.5p (1%) this morning to reach 368p, on news of an acquisition.

The rail and bus operator has bought up Go West Travel, which trades as Norfolk Green and operates commercial and school bus services with a network covering Norfolk and parts of Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. Go West won the title of ‘Independent Bus Operator of the Year’ in November.

We weren’t give any details of the cost of the purchase in today’s announcement.

Barratt Developments

Barratt Developments (LSE: BDEV) told us of a new joint venture today, and saw its share price gain 4p (1.2%) to 340p as a result.

The new venture, BDWZest Developments, affirms a strategic alliance between the FTSE 250 housebuilder and London and Quadrant, and will serve as a vehicle for the partners to invest in London development opportunities.

Barratt’s shares are now up around 65% over the past 12 months.

Bwin.party

We had a pre-close update from Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (LSE: BPTY) this morning, resulting in a 6.5p (5.6%) share price rise to 122p for the online gaming firm.

Trading for the quarter was said to be in line with expectations, as the company moves its focus to better-regulated markets — 52% of its revenue now comes from such operations.

The firm has also secured a £50m revolving credit facility with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

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