Why AMEC plc, British Sky Broadcasting Group plc and Kier Group plc Should Lag The FTSE 100 Today

Just when it seemed the City crowd had forgotten that economic stimulus in the US would inevitably come to an end some day and appeared to be getting over it, they panicked again as it seems tapering might even start before the end of the year, sending the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) down 76 points (1.1%) to 6,651 by midday and bringing the recent mini-bull to a pretty firm end.

But some individual shares are doing even worse today. Here are three from the indices that are slipping:


Despite being awarded a new contract, AMEC (LSE: AMEC) saw its shares fall 28p (2.4%) to 1,150p this morning. The engineer and project manager has been awarded the hook-up and commissioning contract by GDF Suez for the North Sea Cygnus gas development project, said to be the largest gas discovery in the area for 25 years.

Following on from work already done by the company, the latest phase should see the first gas being delivered in the last quarter of 2015, with AMEC saying the contract will maintain a peak of 140 jobs.

The price fall? Apparently a broker somewhere has downgraded its AMEC recommendation.

British Sky Broadcasting

An update on its share-buyback programme didn’t placate British Sky Broadcasting Group (LSE: BSY) (NASDAQOTH: BSYBY.US) shareholders today, and the shares dropped another 29p (3.5%) to 811p. The price has now plunged 119p (12.8%) since BT Group beat Sky for the rights to show UEFA football for three seasons starting in 2015.

On 12 November, Sky bought up 250,000 of its ordinary shares at an average price of 842p, so at least it managed to get them cheaper thanks to BT — though an extra day would have seen an even better bargain.

Kier Group

Kier Group (LSE: KIE) shares had soared more than 60% over the past 12 months, but a first-quarter update today set the price back 106p (5.9%) to 1,702p despite telling us that the construction firm is trading in line with current expectations.

Since the start of the financial year Kier has been awarded a number of key contracts, for developments including several schools, affordable housing projects and construction work for fire authorities, and it has been named the preferred bidder in a joint venture for the Mersey Gateway bridge project.

 The only negative note was a statement that the firm is “experiencing inflationary cost pressures“.

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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in BSkyB.