Despite new figures showing retail sales beating expectations, the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) fell today, dropping 41 points to 6,547 by late morning — fears seem to be growing that economic stimulus measures are likely to be cut back sooner than previously expected. Falls for GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca after broker downgrades didn’t help either.
But which shares are falling faster? Here are three from the various indices racing the FTSE downwards and look set to lag the market today:
International Consolidated Airlines
International Consolidated Airlines (LSE: IAG), the firm behind British Airways and Iberia, saw its price slip by 3.1p (1%) to 313p this morning despite announcing a new short-haul aircraft deal. The firm is set to buy up to 220 Airbus A320 planes, with more than half of them earmarked for replacing its Vueling subsidiary’s current fleet.
Chief executive Willie Walsh said that “these new aircraft will enable Vueling to continue that expansion and replace some of its older fleet with modern, fuel efficient aircraft, leading to further unit cost reductions“. Mr Walsh stressed that “the benefits that the merger brings to all our airlines are highlighted once again“.
Full-year results from Rank Group (LSE: RNK) resulted in a 3.5p (2.2%) share price drop to 157p in morning trading, even though the gambling and leisure firm saw revenue up 7% to £625m in what it called a “challenging economic environment“. But what probably disappointed was a 1% fall in adjusted pre-tax profit to £65.1m, with earnings per share unmoved at 12.4p.
Still, the company did see fit to propose a final dividend of 2.85p per share, taking the full-year payout up 14% to 4.6p per share. On the current share price, that’s a yield of 2.9%, which is a little below the FTSE average.
Interim results sent Ophir Energy (LSE: OPHR) shares plunging 37p (9.5%) to 353p after the firm reported a pre-tax loss of $19.4m — though that was better than the $24.4m loss recorded at the same stage a year ago. The loss was, perhaps unsurprisingly, due to “exploration expenditure, regulatory and corporate costs“. Revenue was up 5.8% to $822m.
There are no profits on the horizon just yet, with losses per share forecast for this year and next, but that’s what you have to expect in the early stages of oil exploration.
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.
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