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Why HSBC Holdings plc, International Personal Finance Plc and De La Rue plc Should Lag The FTSE 100 Today

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) has slipped back today, dropping 32 points to 6,664 by late morning, on the day that a number of top companies, including BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce Holdings, went ex-dividend.

But overall, we could still be on for the FTSE’s third winning week in a row, with the index up 41 points since last Friday’s close.

It’s not good news for everyone today. Here’s a quick look at three shares that are falling:

HSBC Holdings

HSBC Holdings (LSE: HSBA) (NYSE: HBC.US) shares dipped 9.6p (1.4%) to 678p this morning after the bank told us its agreement to dispose of its business in Pakistan has been terminated – although 6.2p of the fall can be put down to today being ex-dividend day.

HSBC Bank Middle East (HBME) had intended to sell its banking business to JS Bank, but regulatory approval has not been forthcoming. HBME will now “explore alternatives options”.

The HSBC share price has been sliding of late, and it’s now up just 10% over the past 12 months, against the 18% that the FTSE has managed so far. But forecasts are looking good with a 35% rise in earnings expected, and a dividend yield of around 4.8% is currently indicated.

International Personal Finance

Shares in International Personal Finance (LSE: IPF) slumped by 52.5p (7.9%) this morning to 616p, after the short-term lender released a third-quarter update. The fall comes despite pre-tax profit for the period gaining 19% to £32.5m. Underlying year-to-date profit (excluding benefits from exchange rates and the costs of new investments) is up 28% to £74.8m.

Chief executive Gerard Ryan said “Our Q3 trading performance was strong with increased revenue growth and we passed the 2.5 million customer mark. We are well placed to achieve a good full year performance in 2013“.

De La Rue

Banknote printer De La Rue (LSE: DLAR) issued a profit warning this morning, and its shares crashed 104p (10.7%) to 877p as a result.

Reporting tough trading conditions at its Currency division and its Cash Processing Solutions business — the latter is expected to record a loss for the year — De La Rue has downgraded its operating profit guidance to £90m. Previously, the firm had set a target of £100m for the year as part of its three-year Improvement Plan.

That will still be a 40% gain on the previous year, and with dividends likely to be above 4%, could today’s sell-off be overdone? That’s for you to decide.

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