Why Royal Dutch Shell Plc, British Sky Broadcasting Group plc and Cranswick plc Should Beat The FTSE 100 Today

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is slipping further today, down 24 points by mid-morning to 6,520, taking it down 144 points on the week so far and down 347 since Tuesday’s high point last week. We’ve had confirmation of further stimulus reduction from the USA, though that was not unexpected, but weaker-than-expected results from Diageo this morning have dampened the FTSE.

Still, there are some shares doing well today. Here are three from the FTSE indices:

Royal Dutch Shell

Full-year results from Royal Dutch Shell gave the shares a 65p (2.9%) boost to 2,307p, after the firm reported earnings on a current cost of supplies basis of $16.7b for the year. That’s a 39% fall from a year previously, but it was still better than expected after this month’s profit warning.

Chief executive Ben van Beurden said “Our momentum slowed in 2013. We must improve our financial results, achieve better capital efficiency and continue to strengthen our operational performance and project delivery“.

Shell shares are down 5% over the past 12 months, and are now on a forward P/E of 10 based on forecast earnings growth for 2014.

British Sky Broadcasting

It was first-half results time for British Sky Broadcasting Group (LSE: BSY) (NASDAQOTH: BSYBY.US) today, and its shares responded with a climb of 40p (4.7%) to 884p after the satellite telly company told us of a 7.6% rise in adjusted revenue. Adjusted EBITDA was flat at £813m, but Sky has apparently invested a lot in in TV services and Premier League costs during the period.

Adjusted earnings per share dropped 3.5% to 27.3p, but the interim dividend was lifted 9.1% to 12p per share

Customer numbers are still growing, with 873,000 new paid-for subscription products taken up in the second quarter, and the number of Sky+HD boxes was up 1 million in Q2 to 4.4 million.


Meat producer Cranswick (LSE: CWK) reported “strong sales performance in the three months to 31 December 2013” this morning, with underlying revenue during the third quarter up 13% on the same period the previous year — and the shares picked up 26p (2.1%) to 1,269p as a result.

Net debt increased from £37m to £55m, partly due to the firm’s further investment in pig breeding. But Cranswick says it has unsecured facilities of £100m, so that seems to be no problem.

The shares are up more than 30% over the past 12 months, with modest earnings growth forecast for the next three years.

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