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3 Shares the FTSE Should Beat Today

LONDON -- Investors seem uncertain today, as the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE  ) wallows at 5,748 level, having picked up 10 points for the day. The index of top U.K. stocks has been as high as 5,989 points this year, but every time it gets close to that level, more bad economic news drags it back again.

But price falls can bring investment opportunities, and today we look at three companies whose shares are falling. Don't forget to do your own research.

Lonmin (LSE: LMI.L  )
Troubled miner Lonmin, whose shares have taken a battering over the tragic events at its South African platinum operations, saw the price diluted by 40% to 311 pence today as a new and heavily discounted placing of 365.5 million new shares hit the market. The new offering, of nine shares for every five in issue, is intended to help pay down the company's debts of about $550 million.

Investors had approved the plan earlier in the day, but some of the major ones are pressing the board for changes in the way the company is run.

Carclo (LSE: CAR.L  )
Interim results from Carclo led to a modest 0.5% fall to 413 pence today as the plastics specialist revealed that things at the halfway stage were going in line with expectations. The firm, which raised 12.6 million pounds from a new share placing in July, reported a 46% rise in pre-tax profit to 1.9 million pounds over the same period last year, with basic earnings per share up 44% to 2.3 pence.

Full-year forecasts put the shares on a price-to-earnings ratio of 35, so there's plenty of future growth already built into the share price.

Barclays (LSE: BARC.L  ) (NYSE: BCS  )
Barclays dropped 3.25% to 247 pence today as sentiment once again turned against the banks. There is speculation that Barclays is set to restructure its operations, cutting the size of its investment banking and reducing its U.K. retail exposure, and that helped perk the shares up a bit yesterday before today's fall.

But even after dropping a few pence, Barclays' shares are still up nearly 60% since their July low point this year.

And how does Britain's ace investor Neil Woodford avoid share price falls? He goes for a strategy of buying solid blue-chip shares paying dependable long-term dividends. And in doing so, he has built a record of beating the FTSE for nine straight years. If you want to see how Woodford manages to beat the market, the free Motley Fool report "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor" takes a look at some of his key holdings. To get your copy, click here while it's still available.

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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