LONDON -- The FTSE 100
And even though the FTSE 100 might be up, various constituents of the FTSE indexes are falling of their own accord. Here are three that the FTSE should beat today.
Severfield-Rowen, the structural-steel producer, fell 3.1% to 142 pence on the release of interim figures, which showed the results of weakening demand and increased competition. With the construction business as a whole in a downturn, this is definitely not a sellers' market.
Although revenue was up, the firm's underlying operating margin was slashed from 4.7% to 1.8%, leading to a 56% collapse in underlying pre-tax profit. The interim dividend was held at 1.5 pence, although it was not covered by underlying earnings of just 1.23 pence per share. Serverfield-Rowen shares have had a bad year and are down 35% since their January peak of 219 pence.
Half-time results from Persimmon didn't impress the market, either, and the shares fell back 2% to 691 pence, even though the homebuilder told us of a 65% boost in pre-tax profits to 98.7 million pounds on revenue up 13% to 806.7 million pounds. Completions rose 6% to 4,712, with a 7% higher average selling price of 171,206 pounds.
So why the fall? Well, the market has started to gain confidence in the homebuilding recovery, and it's possible that some were getting a little overexuberant and expecting even more. But with the Beginners' Portfolio holding Persimmon shares from a buy price of 617 pence, I'm pretty happy with these results.
John Wood Group fell 1% to 826 pence on the release of interims, which on the face of it looked good. A 36% rise in revenue led to a bottom-line earnings-per-share boost of 48% to $0.37 and a 46% lift in the interim dividend to $0.057 cents.
But what held back the enthusiasm for the energy services company was the news of continuing problems with the firm's ongoing contracts in Oman, leading to $10 million in first-half losses with more expected by the end of the year.
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Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. 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.