3 FTSE Shares Crashing to New Lows

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE  ) is well up from its 52-week low of 5,075 points and, barring a catastrophe, will hopefully never again be found at such depths. In fact, at 5,848 points, up 53 on the day, it's heading in the direction of its 52-week high of 5,989 points.

But if the FTSE is well away from its low point, the same cannot be said about all of the constituents of the various indexes. Here are three falling to new lows...

Fidessa
The financial software and services company Fidessa Group (LSE: FDSA.L  ) plumbed a new 52-week low of 1,317 pence today, though it regained a few pennies to stand at 1,321 pence at the time of writing. The firm has suffered from falling demand, saying at the time of its last update on Oct. 22 that "(t)he challenges in the financial markets have gone on longer than most observers were expecting with third-quarter equity market volumes dropping further" and that there is unlikely to be any short-term change.

With updated analysts' forecasts expected soon, it seems unlikely we'll see a full-year dividend of much over 2%.

SDL
SDL
(LSE: SDL.L  ) plunged to a new 52-week low of 530 pence today, down 31% from a high of 767 pence. Interim results for the information management solutions company looked strong and the shares perked up a bit. But the shares looked overvalued at the time, and even after the subsequent slide they're still on a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 14, based on forecasts for December 2012, and there's a dividend of only a bit over 1% expected.

It's pretty much what happens when a growth share story slows for reality to catch up with it. Oh, and there's currently a litigation problem regarding the acquisition of Trados in 2005, but the firm estimates the maximum damage to be around $3 million.

If you want to avoid plummeting shares like these, the free Motley Fool report "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor" should help. It takes a look at some of ace investor Neil Woodford's major holdings, and he has consistently beaten the FTSE. Click here to get your free copy, while it's still available.

Rockhopper
Rockhopper Exploration
(LSE: RKH.L  ) , the oil and gas explorer drilling in the Falkland Islands area, has had a torrid time of it this year. The shares reached a 52-week high of 400 pence in February, but have since crashed all the way to a 52-week low of 151 pence -- though they have lifted back up a little today to 157 pence.

A number of explorers in the area have similarly fallen, as optimism for rich pickings in the area has faded after a number of drilling failures.

The smaller oil & gas explorers can be risky, and are usually volatile. The Motley Fool report "How to Unearth Great Oil & Gas Shares" examines the sector to help you avoid the pitfalls. Click here to get your free copy while it's still available.

Further Motley Fool investment opportunities:

Alan Oscroft does not own shares in any of the above companies. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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