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Why National Grid, Tate & Lyle and Lonrho Should Beat the FTSE 100 Today

Thursday - 3/28/2013, 8:26am  ET

LONDON -- After again closing below 6,400 points yesterday, the FTSE 100 has nosed above that level today, up 0.92% to 6,447 as of 8 a.m. EDT. Although banks in Cyprus are open again (albeit with strict controls), sentiment across Europe is still shaky, as nobody yet knows the full suffering to be faced by uninsured savers in the island's banks.

But plenty of constituents of the FTSE indexes are doing well in their own right. Here are three on the up today.

National Grid
National Grid released details of its new dividend policy this morning, sending its shares up 2.5% to 770 pence. The intention now is for the utilities supplier to grow its dividend at least in line with retail price inflation, with chief executive Steve Holliday telling us the policy "supports our long-term ambition to target a secure dividend in real terms for our shareholders while enabling the Group to sustain the strong balance sheet needed to fund the business."

The firm also told us that trading is going well, and performance for the year to March 31 will be "modestly ahead" of previous guidance.

Tate & Lyle
Tate & Lyle shares picked up 2.3% to reach 844 pence after the firm told us in an update ahead of full-year results that it expects to make modest progress for the year. With volume growth for the second half ahead of the first, the company's speciality food ingredients division should achieve "solid sales growth." Net debt, though, will be higher than it was last year.

Prior to today, analysts were forecasting a modest fall in earnings per share and a 3% dividend yield, with a return to earnings growth expected in 2014. Results are due on May 30.

Lonrho
It's about time something good happened for Lonrho shareholders after the share price has been on such a long slide. And today they're being treated to a 32% price rise to 6.6 pence after the Africa-based oil and gas support and agriculture company released full-year results.

Revenue for the fourth quarter rose by 32%, with full-year revenue up 22% to 186.3 million pounds. The firm still made an operating loss of 3.4 million pounds, but that was well within the expected range of 3 million pounds to 5 million pounds.

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This article was originally published as Why National Grid, Tate & Lyle and Lonrho Should Beat the FTSE 100 Todayon Fool.com

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