3 Shares the FTSE Should Beat Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE  ) is perking back up a bit today, gaining 15 points to 5,819 after it was revealed that the U.K. economy is officially out of recession. Apparently, we enjoyed 1% growth in the three months to September, buoyed by the Olympics.

But it's not all roses for some constituents of the FTSE indexes. We take a quick look at three shares that are falling today.

Footsie advertising giant WPP Group fell 3.8% to 785 pence after cutting this year's revenue growth outlook. The lowering of expectations from 3% growth to 2.5% growth follows a previous reduction from 3.5% in August.

Since then, the shares, which had peaked at 884 pence, have slipped back. Forecasts prior to today put them on a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 11 with a 3.3% dividend expected, so they don't look obviously overvalued.

Online fashion-retailer ASOS fell 7.3% today after releasing results for the five months to Aug. 31, reversing a pre-announcement mini-surge. Although group revenue is up 32% to 238 million pounds and international sales rose by 46%, the City was clearly disappointed by the news that buying director Caren Downie is to leave the company.

Forecasts for next year suggest a tripling of earnings per share but put those shares on a P/E of 48. Is there enough future growth through international expansion to justify such a high rating?

It's a shock when company shares fall like these two have, and one of the best long-term strategies for minimizing the pain is to invest in solid, dividend-paying shares. That's what legendary investor Neil Woodford does, and the free Motley Fool report "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor" takes a look at his strategy. Click here for your copy.

Victoria (LSE: VOG.L  )
AIM-listed Victoria Oil & Gas fell on full-year results, dropping 2.8% to 2.4 pence. Although estimates of reserves at Victoria's Logbaba operation in Cameroon were upped by 50% and production there commenced in July, the firm's losses for the year widened from $4.7 million to $7.7 million.

If you want to find the best in the oil and gas business, the Motley Fool report "How To Unearth Great Oil & Gas Shares" should be just what you want. 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.

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