3 Shares the FTSE Should Beat Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE  ) is still moving sideways and is only three points above yesterday's close, at 5,864 points at the time of writing -- and that's after closing just 14 points down yesterday. It seems unlikely there will be much movement in the index of top shares without any economic news.

Still, it's best to forget the indexes and just keep our eyes peeled for individual shares in the news. Here are three that are falling today.

Hargreaves Services (LSE: HSP.L  )
Hargreaves Services, the coal producer, was one of today's big fallers, dropping 21% to 550 pence on the release of preliminary results. The results themselves were excellent, but the price fell due to fears over "geological problems" that continue to threaten its Maltby mine in Yorkshire.

Record revenue of 688 million pounds was posted for a rise of 25%, with pre-tax profit coming in 17% ahead of last year at 43 million pounds -- and the dividend was hiked by 15% to 17.8 pence to boot. But the effects of problems at Maltby did not hit these figures; the damage will be felt in the next set of results, with an 8 million pound loss already budgeted.

Close Brothers (LSE: CBG.L  )
Close Brothers fell a little, sliding 2% to 832 pence after it released preliminary results for the year to July 2012. Overall adjusted operating profit came in slightly ahead of last year, up 2% to 134 million pounds, with adjusted earnings per share up 4% to 67.3 pence. The dividend was lifted by a modest 1.5 pence to 41.5 pence for a nice yield of 4.9%.

It's perhaps easy to see why the market's reaction was muted, as the results were pretty flat, really. But that 4.9% yield is nice, and the basic EPS figure puts the shares on a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.

Mediterranean Oil & Gas (LSE: MOG.L  )
Oil explorer Mediterranean Oil & Gas fell a little on interim results, dropping just 1% to 12.5 pence despite good results. The firm enjoyed revenue of 8.5 million euros -- 7.9 million euros once assets due to be transferred to Canoel International Energy are excluded -- and a similarly exclusive operational profit of 2.3 million euros.

Chief executive William Higgs told us that the first half of the year was a period of consolidation, and overall it sounds like the company is progressing nicely.

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Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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