Whitbread plc (LON: WTB), Provident Financial plc (LON: PFG) and Redrow plc (LON: RDW) all race the FTSE on the way down.
The FTSE 100 is down 78 points to 6,277 as I write, as fears from Italy's election stalemate reverberate around Europe. Could the strong anti-austerity vote presage a new wave of revolts against the eurozone's Northern masters, and could the FTSE be sent spiralling back down to last year's levels? It's not an impossible scenario.
Even a falling FTSE can be hard to keep up with sometimes, and here are three companies that are failing to do that today:
A 16.9% rise in sales for the final quarter and a 14.8% rise for the full year were not enough to satisfy Whitbread (LSE: WTB) shareholders, who pushed the shares down 93p (3.6%) to 2,470p. The price has been up more than 50% over the past 12 months, but has slid back to a gain of around 42%, which is still very nice.
A cold January adversely affected business, but Costa Coffee sales were up a very strong 32.2% for the quarter and 26.9% over the year. Premier Inn did well, too, recording a quarterly rise of 14.1% and a full-year rise of 12.9%. Whitbread's full results are due on 30 April.
Provident Financial (LSE: PFG) shares lost 77p (5.1%) to 1,447p, despite full-year results showing a pre-tax profit rise of 11.7% to £181.1 million with a 13.8% rise in adjusted earnings per share. Customer numbers at the consumer credit firm rose by 8.7%.
The total dividend was lifted by 11.9% to 77.2p per share, for a yield of 5.3% on the current share price, with forecasts for 2013 suggesting a rise to 5.5% and putting the shares on a forward price-to-earnings ratio of just under 14.
Interim figures from Redrow (LSE: RDW) resulted in a 7.8p (4%) fall in the housebuilder's share price to 188p. A 10% rise took revenue to £157 million. The company achieved a 3% growth in number of homes completed, but that's a little behind some of its competitors -- Persimmon reported a full-year 6% rise yesterday. But Redrow's average selling price was up by 9.8% to £224,000, ahead of its rivals.
Earnings per share rose by 30% to 4.8p, and Redrow got its net debt down from £98.8 million a year previously, to £65.2 million.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.