ICAP (LSE: ICAP) and J Sainsbury (LSE: SBRY) are on the way down.
The FTSE 100 (UKX) has given back some of the gains it made late yesterday, dropping 30 points to 5,756 in morning trading. So far, in a skittish week, the index of top UK shares is down 66 points (1%) as global economic sentiment still appears weak.
Sadly, there are always individual companies that are falling faster than the index. Here are three constituents of the various FTSE indices that are dropping today and look set to lag the market:
Half-year figures sent the shares of interdealer broker ICAP (LSE: IAP) down 20p (6%) to 290p this morning. Investors seemed worried by chief executive Michael Spencer describing the six months as "one of the toughest periods in my 36 year career in the wholesale financial markets".
Revenues for the six months to September were 14% down over the same period last year, at £756 million, with adjusted pre-tax profits falling 26% to £137 million. Although adjusted earnings per share came in 21% down at 15.4p, the interim dividend was lifted by 10% to 6.6p per share.
The highest-flying of the UK's big supermarkets, J Sainsbury (LSE: SBRY), saw its recent reversal continue today, with a 2% fall to 340p after the release of half-year figures. The drop came despite the firm's market share rising to its highest in a decade, at 17%, and underlying pre-tax profits growing by 5% to £373 million. The interim dividend was lifted by 7% to 4.8p per share.
So why the recent share slide, which has knocked 6% off the price in the past month? It's hard to say, but maybe boss Justin King's use of the word "challenging" has something to do with it.
The shares of BT (LSE: BT.A) fell back a little today, dropping 1.3% to 225p, after the telecoms giant announced it has agreed terms to buy Tikit Group (LSE: TIK). The 416p per share offer values AIM-traded Tikit, which provides software and services to the legal and accountancy sectors, at £64 million, which is a nice premium to yesterday's closing market capitalization of £52 million.
Finally, how does Britain's ace investor Neil Woodford avoid share-price falls? He goes for a strategy of buying solid blue-chip shares that pay dependable long term dividends. And in doing so, he generally keeps on beating the FTSE year after year.
If you want to see how Mr Woodford manages it, the free Motley Fool report "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor" takes a look at some of his key holdings. To get your copy, click here while it's still available.
> Alan Oscroft does not own any shares mentioned in this article.