Why ICAP plc, Booker Group Plc And Barratt Developments Plc Should Lag The FTSE 100 Today

ICAP plc (LON: IAP), Booker Group Plc (LON: BOK) and Barratt Developments Plc (LON: BDEV) all respond badly to news.

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After a couple of days of gains, the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is slipping back a bit today, down 20 points to 6,493 by mid-morning. The miners, which recovered a bit yesterday, are all falling again, generally by a percent or two — presumably someone in China did cough.

The day-to-day fickleness that drives sentiment is really best ignored, and Fools are better off examining the real world of actual companies and how they’re performing. To that end, here’s a look at three from the various indices that are responding to actual news today:


After climbing to a 52-week high on Monday, shares in ICAP (LSE: IAP) have slumped back 30p (7.6%) to 370p this morning, after an AGM-day update revealed “mixed performance”. The interbank broker told us that revenue in the first quarter was up 2%, with volatility in the US Treasuries market on the back of the expected scaling back of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy, but that “trading conditions remain challenging for a number of ICAP’s businesses“.

Despite the fall today, ICAP shares are still up 20% over the past 12 months, and they’re on a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of under 12. And if the dividend is held at last year’s level of 22p per share, we’ll be looking at a yield of around 5.5%.


Booker Group (LSE: BOK) has had a good year, with its share price up 40% before today. But this morning it dipped 3.8p (2.9%) to 126.5p after the wholesaler told us that tobacco sales have taken a hit — by a combination of illicit sales and the effects of the display ban.

Total sales, including Makro, actually rose 13.6%, but excluding tobacco that drops to 1.4%. Sales at Makro fell by 6% overall, though leaving out the tobacco effect takes that to a fall of 3.6% and in line with expectations. Despite the mixed figures, the statement added “After a good start, we anticipate that Booker Group is on course to meet expectations for the year ending 28 March 2014“.

Barratt Developments

Unusually for a housebuilder these days, shares in Barratt Developments fell today, losing 4.1p (1.2%) to 339p — despite an upbeat trading statement ahead of full-year results. The firm’s rate of sales is up 17.9% in the second half, and up 34.7% since the launch of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme.

Average selling prices in the second half rose 9% to £221,000, reflecting a change in Barratt’s sales mix. Pre-exceptional pre-tax profit is expected to come in at £192m, ahead of analysts’ forecasts. Results for the year to 30 June are due on 11 September.

Finally, reliable dividends can more than compensate for the day-to-day ups and downs of share prices. So how about a company that’s offering a 5% yield and which could be set for some nice share price appreciation too?

It’s the subject of our BRAND-NEW report, “The Motley Fool’s Top Income Share For 2013“, which you can get completely free of charge — 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.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

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