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Why these 4 shares are soaring on the ASX today

Credit: Museum of American Finance

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) was up nearly 1% in early afternoon trade today, despite the futures market pointing to a flat open.

Shares of the following four companies were leading the market higher.

  1. Brambles Limited (ASX: BXB) – up 9%

The Brambles share price stampeded higher today following the release of its half-year financial report. In the six-month period ended 31 December 2015, the global logistics company revealed an 8% increase in revenue and a 14% rise in profit, in constant currency terms. In addition to paying a larger interim dividend year over year, the company upped its full-year profit growth guidance to between 8% and 10%.

  1. NIB Holdings Limited (ASX: NHF) – up 8%

NIB Holdings shares rose following the release of its latest interim report for the six-month period to 31 December 2015. Compared to the prior corresponding period, NIB Holdings’ revenue rose 13%, while profit attributable to members increased 5%. Strong top line growth and a containment of costs saw margins improve throughout the business. Further, the company expects full-year profit to be at the upper end of prior guidance.

  1. Mesoblast Limited (ASX: MSB) – up 8%

The Mesoblast share price took off today following a market sensitive announcement by the company. The regenerative medicine heavyweight revealed that: use of its proprietary Tier 1 mesenchymal stem cell product candidate remestemcel-L (MSC-100-IV) demonstrated clinically meaningful responses and significantly increased survival in children with steroid-refractory acute Graft Versus Host Disease (aGVHD).” Nearly 50% of the 30,000 patients receiving bone marrow transplants each year develop aGVHD, according to figures published by Mesoblast. Silviu Itescu, Mesoblast’s CEO, said the company is “committed to making our cell therapy available to the many children suffering from this devastating disease.”

  1. UGL Limited (ASX: UGL) – up 11%

Shares of mining and infrastructure services business, UGL Limited, rallied more than 10% today following the release of its half-year report. For its most recent half-year, UGL reported a 1.5% uplift in revenue and a profit of $18.5 million, up 115%. While the company did not declare a dividend, it said it has made “solid progress” against its strategic priorities. While profit from the Engineering & Construction business slowed, Rail & Defence and Asset Services made up for much of the fall in operating profit.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz owns shares of NIB Holdings. Owen welcomes -- and encourages -- your feedback on Google+, LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. 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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