The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) surprised many yesterday by picking up 63 points to close on 6,555, after the US Federal Reserve finally confirmed the long-expected tightening of its stimulus policy but pledged to keep interest rates low. And this morning the index of top UK stocks is up a further 11 points to 6,596, taking it up 156 points on the week so far and looking set to break its six-week losing streak.
The FTSE is now 723 points up from its 52-week low of 5,873 set almost a year ago, but things aren’t going so well for some of our companies. Here are three from the various indices that are scraping new bottoms:
When I watched Tesco (LSE: TSCO) (NASDAQOTH: TSCDY.US) shares slipping to a 52-week low of 323.9p last Friday, I really didn’t think I’d be reporting a repeat performance this week.
But that’s what’s happened, as the UK’s biggest groceries retailer saw its shares slump as low as 316.6p on Wednesday this week, taking the price down around 15% since its recent high in late October and to a 7% loss over the past 12 months. As I write today the price is back up a little to 327p after shares were up across the board yesterday, but that’s not much comfort.
Tesco is forecast to record a 6% fall in earnings per share (EPS) for the year to February 2014, and there’s only a 3% recovery penciled in for 2015 — but at least there’s a 4.5% dividend expected.
Tullow Oil (LSE: TLW) has had a tough year, with its share price down more than 30% over the past 12 months — and it’s fallen 48% since its high point of 1,601p in early 2012.
At 840p today, the shares are trading close to their very recent low of 824p set last week, dipping to 825p this Wednesday. It’s hard to put a value on oil explorers, but City analysts have Tullow shares on a P/E of 23 for the end of this year with a fall in EPS of about 15% expected.
Dividends aren’t going to be too hot, with less than 1.5% predicted for both this year and next.
If things are tough for oilies, then they’re even tougher for some of our miners, as Fresnillo (LSE: FRES) shareholders have found out — the silver and gold producer has seen its price slump more than 60% over the course of 2013.
The shares ended yesterday on a 52-week closing low of 698p, and have fallen even further so far today, down another 6p to 692p — the slump in the prices of precious metals really has taken some investors by surprise.
Even after the fall, Fresnillo shares are still on a forward P/E of 24, which is a long way ahead of the FTSE average of around 14.
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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares in Tesco.