Why RSA Insurance Group plc, BT Group plc and Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited Should Lag The FTSE 100 Today

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) fell back on Friday for its first losing week after four weeks of gains, but seems more settled so far today with a lift of 9 points to 6,717 by mid-morning. Positive economic signs from the USA at the end of last week are proving to be a mixed blessing, with long-term optimism currently being held back by short-term fears of an end to quantitative easing. But that’s good for Fools if it means we can buy on the short-term dips and profit from long-term gains.

Which companies are suffering of their own accord? Here are three shares that slipped this morning:

RSA Insurance

As if last week’s slump wasn’t enough for RSA Insurance Group, news that RSA Ireland has suspended chief executive Philip Smith, chief financial officer Rory O’Connor and claims director Peter Burke, and that the firm has launched an independent investigation “into issues in the Irish claims and finance functions which were identified during a routine internal audit” sent the price down a further 13p (11%) to 107p

At the same time, the company warned that its 2013 operating profit would be about £70m lower than current market expectations, which had previously suggested a little over £600m for the full year.


BT Group (LSE: BT-A) (NYSE: BT.US) shares fell 8.2p (2.2%) to 364p in early trading this morning, after news that BT Sport has won the rights to show UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League football for three seasons starting 2015/16. But the cost of about £299m per season has left many thinking the telecoms operator has agreed to pay too much — Sky said it couldn’t justify offering a similar amount.

BT shares are still up 60%, though, and shareholders should be on for a dividend yield of around 3%.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (LSE: GKP) saw a price dip of 2.5p (1.5%) to 167p on the day the firm updated us on the progress of its litigation involving Excalibur Ventures. In September, the English Commercial Court gave a summary judgment dismissing Excalibur’s claims, and has now said it will hand down its full judgment on 13 December.

The whole issue has delayed Gulf Keystone’s move to the LSE’s main market, and the firm now expects the move to be complete “as soon as practicable” in 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 5.5% 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.