AMEC (LSE: AMEC) and Aviva (LSE: AV.) disappoint.
The FTSE 100 (UKX) remained pretty flat today, stuck at 5,846 points by early afternoon, but that's still around the current four-month high for the index of the UK's largest companies.
In fact, the index would probably be falling today if it were not for strengthening commodity prices helping miners and an ongoing recovery from Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN), which crashed 24% the other day after accusations it concealed Iranian transactions.
As always, individual constituents of the various FTSE indices are all doing their own thing during the session. Here we look at three names that have fallen today and look set to lag the FTSE 100 by the close of play.
I was disappointed to see AMEC (LSE: AMEC) fall 77p (7%) to 1,082p despite reporting six-month pre-tax profits surging 25% to £126 million. You see, I had been feeling optimistic about the engineering firm, which supplies oil and gas exploration infrastructure.
The fall was presumably due to AMEC's announcing that it expected second-half revenue growth to be significantly lower than that seen in the first half. But first-half growth was in fact 37%, and the full year is still expected to bring in double-digit underlying progress.
Insurance giant Aviva (LSE: AV) fell 4p (1%) to 314p after reporting a first-half loss after tax of £681 million. The figure was struck after the firm wrote down £876 million of goodwill and intangibles at its US business.
It's all part of business, but it does make you wonder about the valuations carried on company balance sheets when £876 million can suddenly be deemed not to exist. The US division is still considered by many to be a candidate for sale.
The share price, having been erratic and currently down on the year, had been recovering until today, and is still up 40% on its 2012 low of 255p
BT Group (LSE: BT-A) fell a little today, down 5p (2%) to 216p. The shares had been doing well of late -- after a three-month slump, they recovered nicely ahead of the company's first-quarter trading update. But since then, we've been seeing uncertainty creeping in.
At the Q1 stage, a pre-tax profit boost of 8% was announced, and we should see profits of £2.6 billion by the year end. But the Q1 progress was countered by revenues, which fell 6%, and by free cash flow, which came in lower than the market had expected.
With current forecasts suggesting a forward P/E of less than 10, plus a 4.6% dividend expected, further price falls could present a buying opportunity.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article