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3 FTSE Shares Crashing To New Lows: G4S plc, Anglo Pacific Group plc And H&T Group Plc

It’s a long way from the 13-year, 6,876-point, peak scaled by the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) back on 22 May — and it seems barely credible that it was only six weeks ago! Today, standing at 6,276 points and 32 down on the day, the top UK index has lost exactly 600 points since that high. But at least it’s also a long way from its 52-week low of 5,478.

Some individual companies are, sadly, doing a lot worse. Here are three from the various indices that are sliding:

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Troubled security firm G4S (LSE: GFS) is still in a slump, with its shares plumbing a new 52-week depth today of 223.9p — by early afternoon they’re back up a little from that, to 225.5p. The shares are now down more than 20% over the past 12 months.

But you know what? The fall is looking over-done to me. There’s another flat year for earnings forecast this year, but the shares are on a forward P/E of only 11. And forecasts for 2014 suggest a return to earnings growth, dropping the P/E to under 10.

But what attracts me is a 4% dividend, which should be more than twice-covered by forecast earnings. And with G4S reliably lifting it’s dividend year-on-year, I’m liking the price right now.

Anglo Pacific

Shares in Anglo Pacific Group (LSE: APF) have been on a big slide of late, hitting a low of 169p yesterday — down 30% in the last month. The mining investor’s May interim update told us that the firm’s “market background has remained challenging during the first three months of 2013”, as demand for commodities remains weak.

Forecasts are tricky to make sense of at the moment, with the City currently predicting a 6.2% dividend yield for the year to December — though that would not be covered by earnings. Also, the company is on a forward P/E of 16, which may seem a bit high for anything dependent on the mining business. Still, there are only two brokers forecasting — and it’s risky to place much confidence on predictions at the best of times.

H&T Group

Pawnbroker and gold dealer H&T Group (LSE: HAT) is our third loser for today, with the AIM-listed tiddler’s share price having crashed by more than 40% since early March — at the time of writing, it is standing on a 12-month low of 190p.

The reason for the price slide seems clear after results for the year to December 2012, reported on 7 March, showed a 28% slump in pre-tax profit and a 30% crash in diluted earnings per share. But the company did lift its dividend by 10% to 11.85p per share.

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.

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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.

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