Why these 4 shares are climbing higher today

Despite a flurry of activity from some of the big name stocks today, the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX:XJO) is still trading marginally lower at 5,264 points.

These four companies are amongst today’s biggest winners:

Super Retail Group Ltd (ASX: SUL)

Super Retail Group shares have rocketed more than 7.5% higher today after the company released a positive trading update. Like-for-like sales increased in all three of the company’s divisions with sports retailing (Rebel and Amart Sports) continuing to be the standout performer with sales growth of 6% for the 44 weeks ending 30 April 2016. Operating margins have also improved and the underperforming leisure division is also showing an uplift in performance. Overall, a fairly solid trading update and one the market was clearly pleased with.

Shares of Super Retail Group have fallen more than 9.7% over the past 12 months.

McMillan Shakespeare Limited (ASX: MMS)

Shares of McMillan Shakespeare have climbed 8.5% higher today following a pledge from the Labor Party to “retain the current arrangements in relation to all measures regarding salary packaging and related Fringe Benefit Tax measures”. The removal of this uncertainty has given the whole sector a boost today with Smartgroup Corporation Ltd (ASX: SIQ) and SG Fleet Group Ltd (ASX: SGF) both trading more than 7% higher. Potential regulatory changes have been a constant issue for these companies and today’s news will be a welcome relief for both the companies and their investors.

McMillan Shakespeare shares have gained more than 14% over the past 12 months.

Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN)

Shares of Crown have jumped more than 4.5% today after the company announced it would be selling part of its stake in Macau-based casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment. The sale is expected to generate proceeds of around US$800 million and will lower the company’s stake from 34.3% to 27.4%. The company will use the proceeds to pay off borrowings and potentially make a distribution to shareholders. The sell down has been seen as a positive by the market as growth in Macau has stalled over recent years and there remains a great level of uncertainty as to when, or if, gaming conditions on the island will improve. Despite a number of board changes, Crown intends to maintain a significant investment in Melco Crown.

Shares of Crown Resorts have fallen 7.8% over the past 12 months.

Cover-More Group Ltd (ASX: CVO)

Cover-More shares have staged a remarkable comeback today, after being one of the worst performer’s yesterday. The shares have gained more than 17% after the company released a significantly more detailed third quarter update and a positive update to its full year outlook. Cover-More expects that its FY16 gross sales growth will be higher than its first half result due to continuing strong operating performance in Australia and from the benefit of its recent agreement with Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) to provide travel insurance in the US market. Cover-More is also expecting double-digit growth in Asia and operating margins to stabilise from the start of FY17. Although the shares have rallied sharply today, I suspect the market will remain cautious until the company releases its full year results later this year.

Cover-More shares have fallen 31% over the past 12 months.

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Motley Fool contributor Christopher Georges has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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