The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) has picked up a bit today, gaining 58 points to 6,396 by late morning. Suggestions of a deal on the US budget deadlock (a temporary one, at least) have been surfacing, and that’s led to some better sentiment.
But the index of top UK shares is still down 58 points on the week and heading for its third losing week in a row — and moving in the direction of its 52-week low of 5,606 from nearly a year ago. But it’s surely not going to reach a new low again, is it?
Individual shares can, and here are three doing some bottom-scraping:
Tullow Oil (LSE: TLW) shares closed on a 52-week low of 975.5p yesterday, though they have picked up 1.5p today to stand at 977p. Over the past 12 months that’s a fall of 30%, though first-half results this year weren’t bad and were in line with expectations — production was up 14%, revenue rose 15% and cash flow gained 16%.
Pre-tax profit was down 41%, but that was in comparison to a prior first-half that saw one-off profits from the disposal of interests in Uganda — underlying profit was said to be “substantially increased“.
Full-year forecasts put Tullow shares on a P/E of 25 and there’s a modest dividend yield of just 1% expected.
Cruise operator Carnival (LSE: CCL) (NYSE: CCL.US), owner of the wrecked Costa Concordia, has seen its share price lose 14% over the past 12 months to last night’s close of 2,030p — so far today we’ve seen a small rebound to 2,035p.
At third-quarter time, things were pretty much in line with a year previously — despite the past year having brought boosts to the sector as a whole. Carnival appears to be having problems rebuilding its damaged image, with chief executive Arnold Donald admitting that “some of our current challenges and cost pressures will continue well into next year“.
Forecasts suggest a fall in earnings per share of nearly 20% for the full year.
Esure Group (LSE: ESUR) shares have not had a great start to public life, hitting a closing low of 223p yesterday before recovering a fraction today to 224.9p. That’s a fall of 29% since the company joined the market in March 2013, though the shares had been rising slowly from their flotation price until first-half results released on 6 August sent them into a tailspin — the biggest disappointment was a lower-than-expected dividend.
But are the shares now oversold? Full-year forecasts put them on a P/E of only 9.5, and the latest forecasts suggest we could still be on for a dividend yield of better than 5.5%.
> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.