3 Shares the FTSE 100 Should Beat Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) has been pushed downward by falls among some of its biggest constituents today, dropping 0.63% to 6,319 points by 9 a.m. EST. And news that the economies of France and Germany shrank by 0.3% and 0.6%, respectively, in the final three months of the year didn't help.

So which companies are dragging the FTSE 100 down? Here are three of the day's biggest fallers.

AMEC (LSE: AMEC  )
Engineering services and consultancy firm AMEC announced a 20% rise in its dividend today, but the share price still fell by 6% to 1,057 pence. Revenue for the year to December rose 28% to 4.2 billion pounds. But underlying revenue managed a 21% rise, and when 320 million pounds of incremental procurement is excluded, that drops to 12%.

Pre-tax profit only grew by 2% to 263 million pounds, but adjusted earnings per share came in at 80.4 pence, up 14%, enabling that 20% lift in the dividend to 36.5 pence per share.

Rio Tinto (LSE: RIO  ) (NYSE: RIO  )
Rio Tinto also raised its dividend today -- and also saw its share price fall. This time we saw an 18% rise in the company's annual payout, followed by a 0.85% price fall to 3,725 pence. But revenue fell by $10 billion to $50 billion, with underlying earnings falling by $6 billion to $9 billion. The dividend of 106.77 pence per share represents a yield of 2.9% on the latest price.

A fall in earnings was expected by analysts, who have a return to growth penciled in for the current year. Today's results put Rio Tinto shares on a P/E of about 12, but forecasts show that dropping to less than 10 for next December.

Carnival (LSE: CCL  )
After reaching a new 52-week high yesterday, shares in cruise operator Carnival dropped 2.8% today to 2,503 pence. The cause was a warning issued after the close of markets yesterday that "voyage disruptions and related repair costs" would impact first-half earnings by between $0.08 and $0.10 per share.

There has already been one broker downgrade as a result, so we'll need to see how a new consensus develops.

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