Why SABMiller plc, PZ Cussons plc and Cairn Energy Should Lag The FTSE 100 Today

The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) is creeping slowly but steadily towards beating last May’s high of 6,876 points, and we’ll see a new 14-year record when that happens. So far today it has added 1o points on top of yesterday’s seven point gain, to reach 6,847 — leaving it just 29 points short.

We’ve had some positive movements helping the FTSE today, but there are still a few negative vibes holding it back. Here are three from the FTSE indices that are slipping a bit:


SABMiller failed to maintain its record of beating the FTSE to 13 straight years last year, but doing it for 12 years in a row was a very impressive achievement.

A third-quarter update today, however, knocked the shares down 36p (1.1%) to 3,058p, even though net revenue is up by 4% and total beverage volumes grew by 2% on an organic basis. In fact, the world’s second-largest brewer told us that its performance is “in line with expectations“. But the sting was in adverse currency movements, which are set to impact reported results.

PZ Cussons

Shares in PZ Cussons dipped 8.7p (2.2%) to 387p, despite first-half figures showing improvements across the board.

Revenue gained 4.1% to £431.8m, with pre-tax profit up 7.9% to £47.6m and adjusted earnings per share up 6.1% to 7.46p. The maker of household products lifted its interim dividend by 7.7% t0 2.53p per share. But net debt did rise, by 60% to £88.3m, and that has taken the shine off things a little.

The Cussons share price has slipped by a couple of percent over the past 12 months, but after several years of strong rises it is still on a relatively high forward P/E of 21.

Cairn Energy

Cairn Energy (LSE: CNE) has had a disappointing 12 months, with its shares down 6% — and that includes a 1.7p (0.6%) fall to 265p today.

The driver was an update ahead of results for the year to December 31, due on 18 March. Chief executive Simon Thomson told us that Cairn “has built a long-term sustainable business” over the past 12 months, and that the company intends to drill a further nine wells in its 2014 exploration programme.

There’s still no sign of when the next full-year profit is likely to be achieved, mind, with losses for 2013 and the next two years still expected — although they’re coming down.

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> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.