Stobart Group Ltd (LON: STOB), Lonrho plc (LON: LONR) and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (LON: BMY) are all in a slump.
The FTSE 100 is up 76 points to 6,368 by mid-afternoon, as optimism over the future of American and Japanese economic stimulus policies trumps the loss of the UK's AAA credit rating. The UK's top tier index has closed above 6,400 just once -- could we be on for a repeat?
But even if the FTSE is soaring, there are plenty of individual shares that are not. Here are three plumbing new depths:
Stobart Group (LSE: STOB) shares closed on a 52-week low of 90.2p on Friday, though they have recovered a few pence to reach 94.5p at the time of writing today. The shares are down 40% on their early-2010 levels after earnings growth came to a halt and turned to decline. We now have a further fall of around 30% forecast for the year to February 2013, with the shares on a price-to-earnings (P/E)} ratio of 14.
But with earnings forecast to start rising after that, and with 6.7% dividend yields on the cards, is this a time to get in for a recovery? It might be, but the dividend will be barely covered this year and it could be unwise to consider it safe.
Few miners have had it as hard as Lonrho (LSE: LONR), whose shares closed Friday on a new low of 6.6p -- they're on 6.85p as I write. That's down 48% from a 12-month high of 13.25p set in April last year. The most recent slump, a fall of 22%, came as a result of a weak fourth-quarter trading statement released on 4 February.
There's a loss per share currently expected for the year ended December 2012, with only modest earnings of 0.24p per share forecast for 2013, putting the shares on a prospective P/E of 29.
Bloomsbury Publishing (LSE: BMY) shares have been on a slide since the start of the year, taking them down to a 52-week low of 105.3p today. The price was soaring as high as 148p in August, so it's down 29% since that peak.
Forecasts for the year to February suggest a 10% fall in earnings per share, putting the price on a P/E of 8.7 with a 5.3% dividend yield expected. The dividend should be twice-covered and earnings are forecast to stabilize over the next two years, so is there are bargain here? Well, it was Harry Potter that made Bloomsbury its money, and the future of print publishers is by no means certain, so it wouldn't be without risk.
Finally, what's the best way to deal with share price falls? One way is to focus on dividends, which can be spent or reinvested according to your needs -- whether investing for income or growth, good old cash is always welcome.
And that's why I recommend the BRAND-NEW Fool report, "The Motley Fool’s Top Income Share For 2013", in which our top analysts identify a share that they believe will provide handsome dividend income for years to come.
But it will only be available for a limited period, so click here to get your copy today.
> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.