3 Shares the FTSE Should Beat Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE  ) has been moving more today than it has been all week -- but in the wrong direction. It's down 1% to 5,802 points as I write, having briefly dipped below 5,800. Worries about anti-austerity protests in Spain appear to be the cause of the fall.

But even if the FTSE is falling, there are individual shares that look set to beat it downward today. Here are three that have reacted badly to news.

Topps Tiles (LSE: TPT.L  )
Topps Tiles has had a good year of it so far, having hit nearly 52 pence recently for a 12-month rise of about 60%. But the price has fallen back a bit in recent days, dropping 3.6% to 47.5 pence following today's pre-close trading update, even though it looked fine.

Apparently, the fourth quarter was strong, and a full-year performance in line with forecasts is still expected -- suggesting a pre-tax profit of between 12.7 million pounds and 14 million pounds. There's a dividend of a little less than 3% expected, which is not great, but the shares are on an undemanding price-to-earnings ratio of less than 10.

Shanks (LSE: SKS.L  )
If you want to see a share that has not done well, look no further than Shanks Group, whose shares are down more than 20% in the last 12 months and which just saw their recent recovery come to a sharp halt: The price fell 7.7% today to 83.3 pence on the publication of a pre-close trading statement.

The waste management specialist told us that full-year results to March 2013 are likely to come in below the current range of expectations and that the company's cost-reduction plans will not be sufficient to offset problems in its solid-waste division. Interim results should be released on Nov. 8.

Domino's (LSE: DOM.L  )
Domino's Pizza fell 5.4% to 533 pence today after an impressive rise that has taken the shares up from about 420 pence in early April. Even after the drop, they're still up nearly 30% since then.

The news today took the form of an interim statement, which told of an 8% increase in sales to 136.4 million pounds and like-for-like sales in the U.K. and Ireland continuing to grow. But the reason the markets weren't impressed seems to be that U.K. like-for-like sales growth has slowed: At 3.7%, it didn't match the 4.1% growth recorded in the same quarter last year.

Investor reactions to news that doesn't look bad is hard to predict, so it's perhaps best to stick to dividend-paying blue-chip shares the Neil Woodford way. The free Motley Fool report "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor" takes a look at some of his major holdings. Click here to get your free copy while it's still available.

But if you prefer a bit of excitement, the oil and gas sector might be a good place form some of your cash. The latest Motley Fool report, "How To Unearth Great Oil & Gas Shares," helps demystify the sector. It's free for a limited time, so click here to get your personal copy.

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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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