The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) has crashed a long way from the 13-week high of 6,876 points it reached on 22 May — at a level of 6,154 at the time of writing, it’s a hefty 722 points down. But at least the index of top UK shares is still a long way from the 52-week low of 5,437 it touched a year ago.
But the same can’t be said for many of the companies in the FTSE indices. Here are three smaller cap companies reaching new lows, and which might be worth a closer look:
Shares in Asian Citrus Holdings (LSE: ACHL) ended on a closing low of 21.9p yesterday, and are up just a fraction on that at the time of writing at 22p. The shares are now down nearly 40% over the past 12 months.
For the year to June 2012, Asian Citrus suffered from a 38% fall in earnings per share, and there’s a further fall of 31% currently being forecast for 2013. There is a dividend yield of 7.6% expected, though that is by no means certain, and the shares are on a forward P/E of only 5. Recovery prospect or a big risk? That’s for you to decide.
Fortune Oil (LSE: FTO) shares also closed on a 12-month low yesterday, of 7.15p, and today are trading just a little above that at 7.35p per share. The firm, with a market capitalization of £140m, has seen its share price drop by 20% over the past year, despite an upwards spike around the New Year.
Forecasts for the full year put the shares on a P/E of a mere 5.5, so is this a bottom worth picking? Well, I can’t tell you that.
Sinclair IS Pharma
Shares in Sinclair IS Pharma (LSE: SPH) is our third to close on 52-week low yesterday, this time of 24.5p, after a few weeks of falls. The AIM-listed pharmaceuticals firm is forecast to turn in a pre-tax profit for the year to June 2013 after several years of losses, though that does put the shares on a forward P/E of 24.
But if forecasts for the following year prove accurate, we should see that drop to 14, which is pretty much bang on the long-term FTSE average. A small cap growth opportunity? Very possibly, but it is a highly-competitive sector to be in.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.