3 FTSE Shares Crashing to New Lows

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) may be down from the 13-year record high of 6,876 points it set on May 22, but it's also a long way from its 52-week low of 5,230 points. In fact, standing at 6,650 points as of 8:30 a.m. EDT today, the FTSE is up a strong 27% since its June 2012 nadir.

Sadly, there are quite a few companies of which the same cannot be said. Here are three doing pretty much the opposite of the FTSE.

Anglo American (LSE: AAL  )
Mining shares have been having a hard go of it lately, but few of the big ones have suffered so badly as Anglo American, whose price hit a 52-week low of 1,512 pence yesterday. It has picked up to 1,557 pence today, but over the past 12 months it has dropped more than 20%. Anglo American has suffered more than most due to its high exposure to the iron ore market, where prices have fallen.

There's a small fall in earnings forecast for the year to December 2013, with a 16% rise penciled in for 2014 -- but forecasts for that far ahead based on commodities prices can be little more than guesswork. Still, with a P/E for this year of 11 and a well-covered 3.7% dividend expected, is this a bargain? That's up to you.

G4S (LSE: GFS  )
G4S shares have a habit of regularly crashing to new lows. It happened in July last year, then again in November, and we've had another slump this month. This time it hasn't quite fallen to a record low, but with prices around 247 pence it has come pretty close.

The recent crash was triggered by the security firm telling us on May 7 that first-quarter margins were hurting and that pressure was "expected to continue for the full year." And just two weeks later, G4S announced that chief executive Nick Buckles will leave the group at the end of the month.

FirstGroup (LSE: FGP  )
Full-year results from FirstGroup shocked the markets on May 20 with a profit warning, a dividend cut, and a rights issue. The result was a 30% fall in the share price, which ended the day on 156 pence. Since then, things have got even worse, and the price fell further to a 52-week low of 116 pence yesterday. Today it's back up to 125 pence, but that's still a 44% fall since results day.

With the final dividend suspended and no interim dividend due for 2014, the latest post-result forecasts suggest a 2014 full-year payment of only about 3 pence per share for a yield of just 2.4% even after the price crash.

What's the best way to deal with share price falls? One way is to focus on dividends, which can be spent or reinvested, according to your needs. Whether you're investing for income or growth, good old cash is always welcome. And that's why I recommend the brand-new Fool report "The Motley Fool's Top Income Share For 2013," in which our top analysts identify a share they believe will provide handsome dividend income for years to come. It will only be available for a limited period, so click here to get your copy today.


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