Imperial Tobacco Group PLC (LON: IMT), Renishaw plc (LON: RSW) and Mothercare plc (LON: MTC) all slip.
The FTSE 100 looks set to end its second day in a row above the 6,300 level, standing at 6,330 as I write, nine points down on the day. With global economic optimism strengthening, pundits are looking ahead to fresh new levels for the index of top UK stocks, and a break through the 7,000 level this year must surely be a real possibility now.
But not everything in the market is rosy, and there are always some shares heading downward. Here are three today that are falling:
Imperial Tobacco Group (LSE: IMT) has been a pretty dependable investment for a number of years, but today the £24 billion FTSE 100 giant saw its shares take a tumble, dropping 127p (5.2%) to 2,339p, on the release of an interim management statement for the three months to 31 December.
Although the firm saw net revenues up over 2%, the outlook was said to be "challenging" with black market tobacco sales digging into legal sales. Imperial estimates that the legal cigarette market size in the EU is currently down around 7%.
Renishaw (LSE: RSW) shares stumbled today, down 95p (4.8%) to 1,865p, after the firm's half-year report apparently did not match up to expectations. It did look good, mind, with revenue up 18% to £174 million, adjusted pre-tax profit up 39% to £43 million and adjusted earnings up 38% to 47.9p per share.
But even if that did not set the market alight, the shares are still up around 35% over the past 12 months -- though the price did hit a rise of 50% before the new year and has fallen back a bit since.
The recovery at Mothercare (LSE: MTC) has been impressive, though the strong share price growth has faltered a little of late, falling back over the past couple of months. And today the price is down 8.75p (2.7%) to 320p after bad news from the company's Australia division.
With poor trading in Australia having been announced last November, the company had taken the decision to to sell its Mothercare and Early Learning Centre businesses to Myer Family Company Holdings. But the deal has gone sour, and Mothercare Australia has gone into liquidation. Mothercare Australia accounted for around 7% of international sales.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.