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Why Kingfisher plc, Barratt Developments Plc And African Barrick Gold PLC Should Lag The FTSE 100 Today

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is pretty flat today after gaining 53 points yesterday to end on 6,584, By mid-morning it’s just seven points down, to 6,577, with mixed news from FTSE 100 stocks pulling it in both directions. There’s really not much big-picture news moving the markets today, as diplomacy seems to be the increasingly preferred approach to Syria, and we won’t be hearing from the US Federal Reserve until next week.

Which shares are putting downward pressure on the FTSE indices today? Here are three that are slipping:

Kingfisher

A 1.6% drop in first-half adjusted pre-tax profit was enough to send shares in B&Q owner Kingfisher down 9p (2%) to 411p in early trading, even though the improving weather in the second quarter helped push overall sales up 4.3%. Considering the very cold first quarter, that’s really not a bad performance, and the shares are still up 50% over the past 12 months.

Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) dropped 1.7% to 11.3p, but the interim dividend was lifted 1% to 3.12p. Chief executive Ian Cheshire did, however, warn that “underlying consumer confidence remains weak in our major markets“.

Barratt Developments

Housebuilder shares aren’t supposed to fall, are they? Well, that’s what happened to Barratt Developments this morning, with an 11.6p (3.5%) drop to 321p, despite full-year revenues rising by 12.2% to £2,602m. The firm completed 13,663 units compared to the previous year’s 12,857, and achieved an average selling price of £194,800 (up from £180,500).

With growing operating margins, pre-tax profit soared by 74% to £192.3m, and net debt was slashed from £167.7m to £25,9m. For the full year, City analysts are forecasting a two-thirds rise in EPS, and today’s figures are firmly in line with that. The share price has almost doubled over the past year.

African Barrick Gold

It’s not every day that a Chief Operating Officer quits unexpectedly, but that’s what happened at African Barrick Gold (LSE: ABG) today, as Marco Zolezzi has “resigned with immediate effect to pursue other interests“.

Tanzania-based African Barrick is one of the five largest gold producers in Africa, and its shares had been recovering of late after the price of the shiny stuff has started creeping up again. But after today’s fall we’re now down around 65% over the past 12 months.

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