Why Schroders plc, Ladbrokes PLC And Cobham plc Should Lag The FTSE 100 Today

Schroders plc (LON: SDR), Ladbrokes PLC (LON: LAD) and Cobham plc (ON: COB) are falling today.

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The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is rebounding a little today, on the back of better-than-expected Chinese trade data, and is up 25 points to 6,536 by mid-afternoon. The index was boosted by resulting upticks across the mining sector, but it’s still more than 100 points down on the week so far.

 A few companies acted as a drag on the index, with their share prices dropping. Here are three from the FTSE indices that are lagging today.

Schroders

First-half results sent Schroders shares down 111p (4.4%) to 2,390p, despite a 23% boost to the interim dividend. Profit before tax and exceptional items was up an impressive 29% to £228m, with the investment firm reporting a 67% increase in net inflows to £4.5bn and assets under management up 21% to £235.7bn.

Chief executive Michael Dobson was pleased with the results, adding “We continue to see good long-term growth prospects and this is reflected in the 23% increase in our interim dividend“. With a share price rise over the past 12 months of more than 70% too, Schroders has done well for investors.

Ladbrokes

Ladbrokes reported a 19.8% fall in operating profit this morning, with underlying earnings per share (EPS) dipping 23.4% to 7.2p and the interim dividend held at 4.3p per share. The result was a 7.7p (3.7%) fall in the share price, to 200p — the shares are now slightly ahead of the FTSE over the past 12 months, with a rise of a little over 20%.

Ladbrokes put its woes down to “retail cost headwinds“, with UK retail profit down 19.8%, and weakness in its gambling machine business. Looking forward, the firm is cautious, telling us that “growth across the market has slowed and the outlook is challenging“.

Cobham

Cobham (LSE: COB) shares fell 3.5p (1.2%) to 296p today, taking them down from the 312p high set earlier this week, after the aerospace and defence engineer released first-half results. Although order intake rose 27% to £976m and revenue was up 2% to £864m, underlying pre-tax profit dropped 3% to £137m with underlying EPS also down 3%, to 10.3p. Statutory figures for pre-tax profit and EPS dipped 43% and 38% respectively. But the interim dividend was raised, by 10% to 2.64p per share.

Chief executive Bob Murphy said “We anticipate that we will continue to perform in line with our previous full year guidance for 2013.  While the outlook for US Government spending remains highly uncertain […] there is the potential to deliver modest organic growth in 2014“.

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

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> 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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