LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES:^FTSE) is staying just short of its 52-week high of 5,989 points, and today it fell back a few points to 5,958. Still, the index has come a long way since dipping to a low of 5,230 points at the start of June -- up 14%, in fact. Thankfully, it looks like the summer pessimists might have been wrong.
But if the various FTSE indexes are way up from their low points, unfortunately the same cannot be said of some of their constituents. Here are three hitting rock bottom this week.
Ah, Vodafone, why are you so unpopular? Shares in the telecom giant have hit a new 52-week low of 155.5 pence this week, having slid steadily since late summer -- they're now down around 20% from a year-high of 192 pence.
But Vodafone is still forecast to offer a full-year dividend yield of nearly 7%, which is one of the best in the FTSE 100, and the company has been steadily buying back shares in an attempt to improve shareholder value.
Severfield-Rowen shares continue to languish, having dipped as low as 83 pence today -- just a smidgeon above their 52-week low. The fall was spurred by profit warnings telling us that the speciality steel business is experiencing tough market conditions.
But although a big fall in earnings is expected this year, City analysts are predicting a strong recovery next year that should bring the price-to-earnings ratio down to less than 10. And if the firm can manage to make this year's dividend forecast (which is unlikely to be covered by earnings), we're on for a 4% yield, too.
AIM-listed telecom provider Daisy Group closed on a 52-week low of 85 pence yesterday but has bounced back a little to 95 pence today. Daisy is one of Neil Woodford's favorite investments; his Invesco funds hold a 26% stake in the firm.
Daisy's earnings per share have been growing steadily, and there's a small boost forecast for this year. But despite that, the shares currently trade on a forward P/E of just six, which is less than half the long-term FTSE average.
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 Oscroft does not own any shares mentioned in this article. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Vodafone Group. 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.