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Why Land Securities Group plc, Smiths Group plc And Telecom Plus PLC Should Lag The FTSE 100 Today

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) opened a few points up today, but by late morning it is down 26 points to 6,530. The big miners were behind the early boost as several positive production reports came in, but minutes from the Bank of England’s recent meeting showing a vote against extending its purchasing of bonds turned sentiment negative.

We have a few notable individual risers and fallers today. Here are three companies from the various indices that are falling behind:

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Land Securities

Land Securities Group (LSE: LAND) shares dipped 17p (1.8%) to 953p, despite the real-estate investment trust releasing an upbeat first-quarter update this morning. Although the overall retail market was described as challenging, chief executive Robert Noel told us that “In London, demand is increasing and we remain confident that our portfolio is well positioned and our developments well timed“.

Even with challenging conditions, the firm’s overall retail occupancy rate stands at a pretty impressive 97.2%, but does that justify a forward P/E of 25 based on forecasts to March 2014? Well, that is surely founded on longer-term expectations for the property market, and I can’t see it as unreasonable.

Smiths Group

A pre-close full-year profit warning didn’t do any favours for the Smiths Group (LSE: SMIN) share price, as it lost 36p (2.6%) to 1,355p. Although trading for most of the group is still in line with expectations, the Smiths Detection division has seen three pre-2010 contracts go sour, and the outcome is now said to be “materially adverse to previous expectations“. As a result, operating profit is now likely to be up to £15m below previous expectations.

Those expectations were for a 2% rise in earnings per share, putting the shares on a P/E of around 14.5, but that clearly needs to be revised now.

Telecom Plus

Telecom Plus (LSE: TEP) shares have had a great year, gaining nearly 60%, but a first-quarter update on AGM day today took the shine off a little, knocking 45.6p (3.3%) off the price to 1,344p.

The update actually looked pretty good, with the firm having added 13,372 new customers and 64,267 new services during the quarter, to reach totals of 474,404 and 1,666,327 respectively. Cash flow is also just fine, with net cash of £3.6m on the books as of 30 June.

Chief executive Andrew Lindsay said “Profits for the first half are expected to be modestly ahead of the corresponding figures for last year, and we look forward to reporting record figures for turnover, profits, earnings and dividends for the full year, in line with market expectations“. First-half results should be with us on 19 November.

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?

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

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