3 Shares the FTSE 100 Should Beat Today

LONDON -- As of 9:40 a.m. EST, the FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) is down 24 points to 6,093 after Asian markets fell back overnight. The World Bank has also cut its forecast for global economic growth from 3% to 2.4%, though that was not really a surprise after Germany's GDP figures were weaker than expected.

The FTSE might be falling back a little, but there are always individual constituents of the various indexes that are doing worse. Here are three heading down today.

Barratt (LSE: BDEV  )
Homebuilders only seem able to do one thing, and that's go up in price -- well, except for Barratt Developments, whose price is down 0.8% following the release of a trading statement. The six months to December brought in revenue of approximately 950 million pounds, which is in line with the previous year. Total completions amounted to 5,085 units, with private completions up 5.3% to 4,241 units. Operating margin is expected to be up to 8.4% from 6.4% last year, with pre-tax profit more than doubling to 45 million pounds.

And that price fall? Nothing to worry about, really, as the shares have still doubled over the past 12 months.

N Brown (LSE: BWNG  )
Multichannel retailer N Brown Group dipped 2% after announcing an 8.5% rise in group revenue for the 19 weeks to Jan. 12, with like-for-like sales up 7%. Perhaps not surprisingly, online sales rose the most strongly -- by 17% -- and now account for 54% of the company's total revenue. Results for the year to March 2 should be in line with current expectations.

Again, today's fall isn't too significant, with the shares up around 60% since this time last year. Investors should be looking forward to a well-covered dividend yield in excess of 3.5%.

AIM-listed EMED Mining fell 2.6% to 11 pence on the back of a quarterly operational update. The firm's Rio Tinto Copper Project is apparently at the "threshold of commencing preparations for construction at its first and largest mine." So it's getting close to starting to prepare for it? Yes, Minister.

The EMED share price has been erratic this year. It is currently up about 25% on 12 months ago, but it's been higher a few times in the year. And the company is hard to value, with a profit not expected before 2014.

Finally, how does Britain's ace investor Neil Woodford avoid share price falls? He goes for a strategy of buying solid blue-chip shares paying dependable long-term dividends. And in doing so, he has built a record of beating the FTSE for nine straight years. If you want to see how Woodford manages to beat the market, the free Motley Fool report "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor" takes a look at some of his key holdings. To get your copy, click here while it's still available.


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