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Why Faroe Petroleum, Mecom, and Findel Lagged the FTSE 100 Today

By Alan Oscroft - Apr 8, 2013 at 12:43PM

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Faroe Petroleum, Mecom, and Findel are all falling.

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) is made a bit of a comeback today, rising 0.43% to close at 6,277 points. Last week's disappointing jobs news from the U.S. is weighing heavily on the index of top U.K. shares, but a spate of buying into long-term defensive shares is apparently helping to hold it up.

But there are individual shares failing to manage even a modest rise today. Here are three falling behind.

Faroe Petroleum (LSE: FPM)
Faroe Petroleum fell a further 7.3% to 128 pence today after the Darwin frontier exploration well in the North Sea, in which Faroe has a 12.5% stake, was declared dry and set to be plugged and abandoned.

Drilling did uncover some gas in the Paleocene interval, but no hydrocarbons were found in the Cretaceous strata. The shares are now down 14% from a recent peak of 150 pence reached at the end of March.

Mecom (LSE: MEC)
Mecom Group shares lost more than a third of their value, plunging 34.3% after the European newspaper-publisher issued a profit warning due to falling advertising revenue. Advertising from the firm's Dutch publications during March and April is falling further after full-year figures in March showed a 28% year-on-year fall for January and February -- it's a slightly slower rate, but still in excess of 20%.

Forecasts for the year to December 2013 already suggested an 18% fall in earnings per share, though analysts will be rethinking that now. But the shares are on a forward P/E of only five before any possible downgrades, with an apparently well-covered 6% dividend penciled in. Will there be further falls, or is this a recovery prospect? It could be one for the brave.

Findel (LSE: FDL)
Home-shopping and educational retailer Findel saw another 7.5% lopped off its share price this morning despite releasing a reasonable-looking pre-close trading statement. The firm, which owns the U.K.'s Kleeneze brand, told us that full-year performance should be "in line with expectations," with net debt lower than the previous year.

Results for the year to March 29 are scheduled to be released on June 5.

Finally, reliable dividends can more than compensate for the day-to-day ups and downs of share prices. So how about a company that's offering a 5.7% yield and could be set for some nice share-price appreciation too? It's the subject of our brand-new report "The Motley Fool's Top Income Share For 2013," which you can get completely free of charge -- but it will only be available for a limited period, so click here to get your copy today.

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