Why Unilever plc, IMI plc and Polymetal International PLC Should Beat The FTSE 100 Today

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) picked up just seven points yesterday to close at 6,837, but today it’s gained a further 18 points to 6,855 approaching noon to edge ever closer to the record of 6,876 points set last May — we’re now just 21 points short of seeing a new 14-year high for the UK’s top index.

Upbeat news from some of our biggest companies is providing the impetus. Here are three from the FTSE indices gaining ground today:


Unilever shares have been dropping  a bit of late, but they picked up 85p (3.5%) to 2,522p on the back of results for the full year to December 2013.

Although reported turnover was down 3% to €49.8bn, the maker of household products told us that underlying sales were up 4.3%, with emerging market sales up 8.7%. Core earnings per share picked up 3% to €1.58, and there’s to be a fourth quarterly dividend of 26.9 eurocents per share for a full-year payment of 109.49c — that’s a yield of 3.6%.


IMI (LSE: IMI) shares gained 14p (1%) to 1,565p by late morning, after the diversified engineer announced a plan to return £620m to shareholders. The company intends to pay a special dividend of 200p per share, and also intends to consolidate its shares on a seven for eight basis to try to keep the price at around the same level after the payment (and yes, that sounds pointless to me too).

IMI investors have had a pretty good 12 months, with their shares gaining approximately 35%. It comes after three years of earnings per share rises, and the trend looks set to continue for the next three years according to current forecasts.

Polymetal International

Polymetal International (LSE: POLY) has not had a good year, with its share price down more than 45% over 12 months. But today the gold and silver miner operating in Russia and Kazakhstan got a boost from a fourth-quarter production update. Polymetal said it has “exceeded its original annual production guidance“, with the production of 1.29 Moz of gold equivalent for a 21% rise on the previous year — gold equivalent production in the fourth quarter was up 37%. The firm reiterated its guidance of 1.3 Moz in 2014 and 1.35 Moz in 2015.

The share price rose by 15p (2.6%) to 585p.

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Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.