Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Why Home Retail, The Weir Group, and Balfour Beatty Should Lag the FTSE 100 Today

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) is finally picking up a bit today after a flat start to the week, gaining 0.56% to reach 6,466 by 8:40 a.m. EDT. The banks have led the way as hopes rise of further economic easing by central banks ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's next policy decision later today. The European Central bank will also meet tomorrow amid expectations of a further interest rate cut.

Sadly, not all our companies are enjoying similar rises. Here are three that look set to lag the index today.

Home Retail
Home Retail Group has seen its share price drop 3.7% to 150 pence this morning after the owner of the U.K.'s Argos and Homebase chains reported a fall in full-year profit. For the year to March 2, sales were pretty much flat at 5.5 billion pounds, but underlying pre-tax profit fell 10% to 91 million pounds, with earnings per share down 11% to 7.7 pence.

Although the transformation of Argos is going well, with a rise in like-for-like sales for the first time in five years boosting underlying operating profit by 6.5% to 100 million pounds, underlying operating profit at Homebase slumped 50% to just 11 million pounds.

A first-quarter update from Weir Group led to a modest share-price fall. Performance during the quarter suffered from "a lower opening orderbook, particularly in the Oil & Gas division," but the firm still says trading is in line with expectations and has not changed its full-year guidance.

Orders were down 14% from the same period last year, as expected, but were up 14% on the fourth quarter of 2012. And recent acquisitions -- especially Mathena, whose integration is apparently going well -- provided a welcome boost.

Balfour Beatty
Balfour Beatty shares have dropped a further 0.8% to 214 pence this morning after the construction and support group announced the disposal of its Private Finance Initiative assets, as the firm is "reducing the business's reliance on PFI in the U.K. and military housing in the US."

The sale of Balfour Beatty's interests in several PFI schools projects, as well as its interest in the Tameside Hospital PFI, raised 58.5 million pounds, which exceeded the firm's valuation of the investments and made a profit of 21.9 million pounds.

Finally, reliable dividends can more than compensate for the day-to-day ups and downs of share prices. So how about a company that's offering a 5.7% yield and could be set for some nice share-price appreciation, too? It's the subject of our brand-new report "The Motley Fool's Top Income Share For 2013," which you can get completely free of charge -- but it will only be available for a limited period, so click here to get your copy today.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2399902, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/24/2016 7:06:29 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 21 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,261.45 -131.01 -0.71%
S&P 500 2,164.69 -12.49 -0.57%
NASD 5,305.75 -33.78 -0.63%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/23/2016 11:35 AM
^FTSE $6909.43 Down -1.97 -0.03%
FTSE 100 CAPS Rating: No stars