LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) is crumbling today under a couple of heavy weights: the U.S. Federal Reserve's plan to wind down its economic stimulus measures and the £27.1 billion hole in capital funding at U.K. banks revealed by the Prudential Regulation Authority. But even though the U.K.'s top-tier index has fallen 2.7% to 6,174 points with an hour left in trading, it's still a long way up from its 52-week low of 5,436 points set almost a year ago.
Sadly, the same can't be said for a number of individual companies. Here are three from the FTSE indexes plumbing new depths.
If you're looking for a share that's falling to new lows, you'd stand a high chance of finding one by simply picking a miner. Antofagasta is one of them, with its shares hitting a 52-week low of 830 pence today -- they were as high as 1,392 pence in January.
Antofagasta, whose primary business is copper mining, has been hit by falling prices of key industrial metals like copper, iron, and aluminum as demand from China falls off -- the most recent data from the People's Republic suggests an accelerating slowdown in June.
Forecasts for Antofagasta suggest a 22% fall in earnings per share this year and put the shares on P/E of 12.5.
Shares in fashion designer Mulberry Group are falling further, hitting a new 12-month low of 825 pence today -- and that's close to a 45% fall over the past year. The shares slumped when the firm issued a profit warning in March, then slipped further when the bad omen came to pass on annual results day a week ago.
There is an 18% rise in EPS forecast for the year to March 2014, but even that still puts the shares on a P/E of more than 23 -- and the same again for 2015 only drops it to 20. With dividend yields only around 1%, the shares could still be overpriced.
It's not just miners of industrial metals that are suffering; those delving for precious metals are down too, as prices for the shiny stuff have also tumbled. Among them, Fresnillo fell to a new 52-week low today of 967 pence.
Engaged in the extraction of gold and silver in Mexico, with its main interest being the Fresnillo silver mine, the firm saw a 17% fall in EPS for the year to December 2012, and there's a further 11% drop forecast for this year. There's an expected dividend yield of a pretty average 3.2%, but the shares are on a demanding forward P/E of 20.
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