LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) is creeping up further today, up 9 points to 5,934, taking it to another new nine-month high. In fact, the index of top U.K. stocks is now just 55 points from its 12-month high of 5,989.
But sadly, there are always individual constituents of the indexes that are falling, even if the market on the whole is on the way up. Here are three whose shares are on the way down today.
Shares in SuperGroup, the owner of the Superdry fashion brand, are down 6.4% to 558.5 pence after half-year pre-tax profit slumped by 32% to 13.9 million pounds, with earnings per share dropping even further, by 48% to 9.6 pence.
However, the falls were largely due to a writedown in the valuation of the firm's European division, bought when the shares were much higher, and SuperGroup reckons that underlying pre-tax profit actually rose by 13% to 14.7 million pounds. The firm was also making positive sounds about this year's Christmas shopping prospects.
Shares in Imagination Technologies Group have dropped by 2.5% to 437 pence after the company released half-year results showing a slowdown in profit growth. Though shipments of its chip designs, which are used by both Apple and Intel, are growing, and adjusted pre-tax profit rose 10% to £16.8 million, increasing research costs have hurt the bottom line -- total operating costs soared to £50 million, from £36 million in the same half last year.
Imagination Technologies shares are now down 40% since March, and they're still on a price-to-earnings ratio -- based on forecasts -- of over 30, but that's what happens when growth companies start to slow.
Lupus Capital shares are down 3.4% after the firm released a year-end trading statement. Lupus, which supplies components for doors and windows, told us that trading is pretty much in line with expectations. Revenues from continuing operations are 5.9% up on the year, but like-for-like revenues are flat on a constant-currency basis.
Lupus shares have had a good year, with its shares up 50% over the past 12 months, and forecasts suggest decent earnings-per-share growth this year and next.
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.
Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares in Imagination Technologies. 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.