3 ASX stocks that beat the falling market on Friday

The market might have fallen, but that doesn't mean there aren't winners

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The S&P/ ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) fell by 0.8% on Friday, to close at 4,396 points, following a fall on Wall Street the previous night.

Despite the market's loss, the following three companies managed to rise by more than 2%.

Bathurst Resources Limited (ASX: BTU) rose 5.8%, or 3.5 cents to close at 64 cents, after the company announced on the 1st May 2012 that it had received a favourable decision from the New Zealand Environment court. Three appeals had been lodged, stopping the company from going ahead with plans to start mining coal at its Buller coalfield. In its first full year of production, the Escarpement project will produce approximately 500,000 tonnes of hard coking coal.

When mining will start is unknown at this stage, and totally dependent on the outcome of the appeals, although should mediation not resolve the issues, the company expects a court hearing early in the September 2012 quarter. 

Independence Group NL (ASX: IGO) rose 3.1% to close at $4.30. The company has two producing nickel, copper and zinc mines and is on target to start producing gold from its 30% holding in the Tropicana project in late 2013, as well as having several other projects in progress. The company reported its quarterly activities on the 1st May, and announced that it has $228.7m in cash against $23.2m in debt, mainly thanks to a recent placement and share purchase plan. Independence is also expected to generate significant operating cash flows of around $185m over the next two years.

Invocare Limited (ASX: IVC) rose 2.0% or 17 cents to close at $8.55. Invocare gave a presentation on the 2nd May which shows that, amongst other positives, the company has handsomely outperformed the S&P/ASX 200 Index since December 2003. The company targets 6% to 7% growth per year, and has achieved a 9.7% compound annual growth in revenues since 2005. The company is the largest funeral, cemetery and crematorium industry operator in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore – and in many of its markets has a huge market share e.g. 43% share of the market in Sydney, 45% of Brisbane and 48% of the Perth market.

Invocare is relatively unaffected by economic factors, and has managed to grow sales by 4% on a like-for-like basis during the three months to March 2012, compared to the previous corresponding period. Invocare is a solid defensive stock, which generally trades at higher P/E multiples, and usually pays a dividend yield of over 3%.

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Motley Fool contributor Mike King doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool's purpose is to help the world invest, better. Take Stock is The Motley Fool's free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. Click here now to request your free subscription, whilst it's still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691).


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