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Why are these 3 stocks beating the ASX 100 Index’s recent gain?

Over the past month, the S&P ASX 100 Index (ASX: XTO) has risen 1.6%, ending up currently around 4410, a new yearly high for the index, and a level last seen in June 2008. Here are three stocks that beat the 1-month index rise handily.

Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) is up 16% since 18 September, riding on the back of higher iron ore volumes produced. Chinese ore imports have been picking up, and with cost-cutting, the company has been able to bring its production cost down to US$33.17/tonne this quarter, so there is more of a profit spread from the higher US$121/tonne ore price. The company is looking to pay down its debt and ramp up higher production. It is projected to have about $3.2 billion in cash by the end of the year.

Bank of Queensland (ASX: BOQ) has been on a steady climb up since mid- June, and over the past 30 days has risen about 11%, setting a new yearly high of $11.99. This regional bank had been out-performed by the big four banks, and even turned a net $17 million loss in 2012. In 2013, it reported a much lower loan impairment expense, and improved credit management practices have helped get its credit rating upgraded to A-. It netted $185 million in profit after tax, the highest level in the past 10 years.

Gambling and wagering service provider Tabcorp Holdings (ASX: TAH) jumped up 9% over the same period. Last year, the company was going through changes as its share of the Victorian wagering joint venture with the Victoria Racing Industry was reduced to 50% from 75%. Further development of online gambling business saw that segment’s revenue rise 27% from last year. 2014 first-quarter revenue is up, and its share price has rallied to about $3.45.

Foolish takeaway

One month does not a trend make, but moves like this might be a reason to take a further look at stocks gaining more than the index. It may be a short-term jump in sentiment based on unexpected news, so that’s the place to start checking up on the story.

Are business conditions better? Is a one-time past problem working its way out? Is a business plan paying dividends, and creating more profit? These are the questions you need to answer before you pull the trigger and buy shares. Quality companies sometimes have bad years or quarters, so know their value.

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Motley Fool contributor Darryl Daté-Shappard does not own shares in any company mentioned. 

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