Why GlaxoSmithKline plc, Severn Trent Plc And Enterprise Inns plc Should Lag The FTSE 100 Today

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) perked up a bit on opening this morning, but quickly fell back to hover around yesterday’s close. By late morning it’s eight points up at 6,483. But that’s 70 points up on the week, and if the trend continues through tomorrow we’ll see the FTSE break out of its four-week losing streak.

Some of our biggest companies aren’t helping, mind, with their share prices falling. Here are three from the various indices dropping today:


News of a disappointing clinical drug trial result sent GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) (NYSE: GSK.US) shares down 28.5p (1.7%) to 1,638p this morning. An independent trial of the company’s MAGE-A3 cancer immunotherapeutic treatment “did not meet its first co-primary endpoint as it did not significantly extend disease-free survival“.

Further trials will now he carried out to determine if the drug has benefits for any subset of MAGE-A3 positive patients, with results expected in 2015.

Severn Trent

Water and sewage firm Severn Trent (LSE: SVT) said today that it will not seek an Ofwat review of its 2010-2015 price limits in relation to costs associated with the adoption of private drains and sewers in October 2011. The costs incurred were not included in the set limits, and will now be absorbed by Severn Trent and not passed on to customers.

The shares responded with a fairly modest fall, of 12p (0.7%) to 1,686p, leaving the price pretty much unchanged over the past 12 months. But even with no price appreciation, shareholders are benefiting from dividends yielding around 4.5%.

Enterprise Inns

Shares in Enterprise Inns (LSE: ETI) dropped 3.5p (2.4%) to 142p after the tenanted pub operator told us of a plan to take on more debt. The firm intends to issue approximately £100 million of unsecured guaranteed convertible bonds in order to provide “low cost, unsecured long-term funding” and reduce the firm’s overall cost of borrowing.

Although the shares are down today, they’re still up around 150% over the past 12 months, with a recovery in earnings not expected before 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. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in GlaxoSmithKline.