Rio Tinto plc (LON: RIO), Premier Oil PLC (LON: PMO) and Mothercare plc (LON: MTC) all slip.
The FTSE 100 is steady today, picking up a bit in the early afternoon to stand 16 points higher at 6,120 at the time of writing. There's really not that much news around to move the index in any real direction, as worldwide markets continue to appear uncertain.
Still, at least the FTSE 100 looks set to complete 12 consecutive sessions above 6,000 today. The last time such a stint was achieved occurred during 2008.
As usual, we do have a few fallers, based on the current trading-update season. Here are three that disappointed the markets this morning and look set to lag the FTSE 100 today:
The big shock of the morning was the revelation from Rio Tinto (LSE: RIO) that the miner will be writing down some £9bn of its assets within its 2012 accounts. The news caused the share price to drop 56p (2%) to 3,402p by early afternoon, which seems surprisingly small compared to the value of the write-down, although at one point the price did briefly drop 4.5% to 3,300p.
The write-down relates mainly to the company's Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique operation and its aluminium businesses, and led to the departure of chief executive Tom Albanese, "by mutual agreement" with the board.
Premier Oil (LSE: PMO) shares dropped 7p (2%) to 364p after the firm released an update ahead of its full-year results. Average production for the year is currently estimated at 57,700 barrels of oil a day, which is 43% up on 2011, and is expected to rise further, to between 65,000 and 70,000 barrels for 2013.
Chief executive Simon Lockett told investors he expects cash flow to rise strongly, enabling the company to start paying a dividend. Preliminary full-year results are due on 21 March.
Mothercare (LSE: MTC), whose shares have enjoyed a pretty good recovery this year, saw their price fall 14p (5%) to 290p during early trading. At the time of writing, the price had recovered to 300p, down 4p (1.3%) so far on the day.
The reason for today's fall was a third-quarter statement that told of group sales dropping 7% during the 13 weeks to 12 January. However, the shortfall was due to the current poor state of the UK business, and there was optimism from international sales, which grew by 12%. The firm's three-year 'transformation and growth' plan is, apparently, still on track.
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> Alan Oscroft does not own any shares mentioned in this article.