3 Shares the FTSE Should Beat Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100  (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE  ) is holding its head up today, rising just nine points during the session so far to 5,931. The index of top U.K. stocks is now at a nine-month high, and is just a tad short of its 52-week high of 5,989. Maybe the index will reach that peak this week.

But despite the index doing well, there are always individual shares that are falling. Here are three names that are on the way down and look set to lag the FTSE today:

Tullow Oil
Tullow Oil  (LSE: TLW  ) shares dropped 79 pence (6.3%) to 1,177 pence after the oil and gas explorer announced a strategic switch. Tullow is to buy Norwegian explorer Spring Energy for an amount that could be as high as $672 million, based on a core price of $372 million plus conditional bonus payments of up to $300 million. Tullow will also dispose of its assets within the U.K. and Dutch North Sea areas, as it shifts toward oil at the expense of gas.

Tullow shares have lost around 15% this month, but they have risen 12-fold during the past 10 years.

Domino Printing
Domino Printing Sciences  (LSE: DNO  ) shares fell 46 pence (7.5%) to 564 pence after issuing annual results that expressed some caution about the current year and showed pre-tax profits down 6% at 54 million pounds. The firm saw revenues fall by just 1% to 312 million pounds, but underlying earnings per share fell by 7%. Despite the profit falls, the inkjet and laser-printing technologist lifted its dividend by 10% to 20.63 pence per share, which now supports a 3.7% yield.

Victrex
Full-year results from high-performance polymer producer Victrex  (LSE: VCT  ) disappointed the market, with the shares falling 62 pence (3.8%) to 1,574 pence. Revenues rose by 2% to 220 million pounds, but earnings per share of 85.7 pence fell a little short of market expectations. The dividend, raised by 15% to 37.4 pence, did however beat forecasts. The firm also ended the year with cash of 84 million pounds and no debt.

For the years ahead, the firm sees further growth within its Victrex Polymer Solutions business, as well as within developing markets for its Invibio Biomaterial Solution business.

Finally, 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's 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.

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