LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) slipped back from its recent highs by a few points in early trading. But fears that the U.S. Federal Reserve might start scaling back its economic-stimulus measures by the summer were quickly shrugged off, and the index climbed 0.5% to a new five-and-a-half-year high of 6,721 points by 9:30 a.m. EDT.
So which companies are putting a drag on the indexes today? Here are three whose share prices are falling and look set to lag the wider market.
Shares in quality and safety expert Intertek have plunged 3.4% after the firm told us of a decline in margins for the first four months of the year.
The news countered a 9.9% rise in revenue for the period, leaving Intertek with a slightly increased adjusted operating profit. But even after today's fall, Intertek shareholders haven't done badly: Their shares have increased by more than 30% over the past 12 months.
Intertek has grown its earnings steadily year on year, and if forecasts made before today come good, we should see a further 15% rise this year. There's not much in the way of dividends yet, with yields of only about 1.5%.
John Menzies (LSE: MNZS)
John Menzies shares have slumped 3.4% this morning after the firm's pre-annual-meeting update told us of mixed fortunes.
Menzies Aviation is doing well, with ground-handling volumes up 10%. But, disappointingly, Menzies Distribution is suffering from poor magazine sales, with weekly titles especially suffering from falling demand. The midcap also said there was no improvement expected for the rest of the year.
Lamprell (LSE: LAM)
Lamprell shares have been flying of late, having gained more than 45% since early April, though they're down 2.7% today after the firm released an interim update -- which actually looked pretty reasonable.
Lamprell, which provides engineering services to the oil and gas sector, suffered a loss in 2012 after expanding into riskier businesses and is in the process of restructuring its finances. And that seems to be going well, with discussions expected to be successfully completed by June. In terms of operations, Lamprell is refocusing on its core areas of experience, and performance overall should be in line with expectations -- so we should see a return to decent profit by 2014.
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