LONDON -- It didn't take long for the FTSE 100 to break its next psychologically important yet otherwise meaningless barrier, as the index of top U.K. stocks topped 6,300 this morning, standing at 6,306 points as of 9:40 a.m. EST.
The FTSE 100 is now up around 6.5% since the start of the year, and in that short time it has beaten its achievement for the whole of 2012. Obviously, we can't expect this rate of growth to continue for long, but could it indicate the start of the next long-term bull run?
Plenty of individual companies are rising every day, as they do in bullish times, but some are doing better than the index due to good news. Here are three whose latest updates have sent their prices up.
Borders & Southern
Oil and gas explorer Borders & Southern got a welcome lift this morning after releasing an operations update, with its shares rising 13.5% to 27 pence -- though they're still down about 60% over the past 12 months.
The key news is an update on the Darwin prospect in the South Falklands Basin, where the company reported deposits of gas condensate last year. Now, after further investigation, the initial "mid case" estimate of 190 million barrels at the site has been upped to 210 million barrels, making the discovery look commercially viable.
News of an acquisition sent Anite shares up 4.8% to 148 pence this morning. The wireless and leisure sector software specialist is to buy the Propsim channel-emulation product set from Finland's Elektrobit Corporation. The deal will cost 26 million pounds and will be settled in cash. The technology, which is used for emulation and testing of wireless products, is "a good fit with Anite's Handset Testing business," said chief executive Christopher Humphrey.
Anite's shares are up 50% since this time last year.
MITIE Group shares have perked up 0.7% to 284 pence upon the release of a third-quarter management statement. The outsourcing company says its performance is in line with current expectations and expects the second half of the year to show higher revenue growth than the first half. Part of that is due to MITIE's acquisition of health care provider Enara Group in October for 111 million pounds. Performance is also boosted by a new five-year contract with Lloyds Banking Group.
If current forecasts are accurate, we should be seeing a year-end rise in earnings of 5% and a dividend yield of about 3.6%.
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