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Why Antofagasta plc, Bovis Homes Group plc And Kentz Corporation Limited Should Lag The FTSE 100 Today

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is back to losing ways this week, falling 41 points to 6,451 by early afternoon as international politics dominates the markets — fear of escalation in Syria is apparently spooking the punters. There’s still nervousness ahead of a possible reduction of stimulus measures in the US too, although the Federal Reserve is so far keeping quiet about it.

 Which shares are leading the FTSE down? Here are three from the various indices that are dipping today:

Antofagasta

Times are volatile for miners these days, and at the moment they appear to be out of favour again. That, and a first-half report, helped send Antofagasta down 15p (1.6%) to 900p today. Revenue was down 12% to $2.78bn and earnings per share (EPS) fell 39% to 40.1 cents, but that was largely in line with expectations based on a falling copper price — the firm’s average realised price for the stuff fell 15.5%.

The company did lift its interim dividend by 4.7% to 8.9 cents per share, after its net cash position improved by 12.5%. Full-year forecasts for an EPS fall of around 35% put the shares on a P/E of about 15, and there’s a further 3% EPS fall currently on the cards for 2014.

Bovis Homes

After strong gains, the UK’s housebuilders have been slipping back a little of late, with Bovis Homes Group (LSE: BVS) the victim of a 23.5p (3%) fall to 769.5p today. The only news is of a £50m extension to the company’s banking facilities, taking the revolving credit deal agreed in January to £175m — and it has a further £25m in borrowing available.

The share price has been sliding since a July peak of 859p, taking it down 10.5% since then, though it is still up more than 60% over the past 12 months. The other housebuilders have similarly faltered, so it mostly seems to be weak sector sentiment to blame.

Kentz Corporation

Kentz Corporation (LSE: KENZ) shareholders enjoyed a bonanza last week after their shares soared more than 30% when a “highly conditional and unsolicited” takeover approach from AMEC was revealed. The price has fallen back a little in the days since, and today it lost a further 6.5p (1.1%) to 560.5p after the construction services firm released first-half results.

The figures looked pretty decent, with revenue up 2% to $775m, adjusted pre-tax profit up 8% to $55.4m and adjusted EPS up 23% to 33.25 cents, so the fall might just be a bit of profit-taking after last week’s spike. The interim dividend was lifted 20% to 6.6 cents per share.

Finally, you can compensate for the day-to-day ups and downs of share prices by looking for reliable dividends. So how would you like a company that’s offering a 5% yield and which could be set for some nice share-price appreciation, too?

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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.