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FTSE Shares That Soared and Plunged This Week

By Alan Oscroft – Mar 8, 2014 at 1:15PM

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A look back at the week in London.

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (FTSEINDICES: ^FTSE) fell to a three-week low this week, losing 97 points (1.4%) to end at 6,713. It touched a mid-week low of 6,672 points on Monday before recovering a little by Friday.

The index of top U.K. stocks was depressed largely by the mining industry, with losses recorded across the sector this week.

Fortunes were otherwise mixed -- here are four of the week's movers.

Admiral Group (ADM 2.10%)
Annual results from insurer Admiral Group gave the stock a 61 pence (4.3%) boost, to finish Friday at 1,496 pence -- though it had been higher mid-week, touching 1,550 pence.

The company reported a 7% rise in pre-tax profit to 370 million pounds, although turnover dipped 8% to 2.03 billion pounds. Earnings per share climbed 10% to 104.6 pence, and the full-year dividend was raised a similar 10% to 99.5 pence per share.

Pearson (PSON -0.28%)
The price of educational publisher Pearson recovered this week, after taking a beating the previous Friday on the release of disappointing results -- the stock ended the week up 41 pence (4%) at 1,064 pence, after having lost 100 pence (9%) the previous week.

Adjusted operating profit had fallen 6% to 871 million pounds, with operating cash flow down 25% to 588 million pounds. Adjusted earnings per share dropped 15% to 70.1 pence, but the dividend was lifted 7% to 48 pence per share, "reflecting our confidence in our prospects."

BP (BP 2.00%)
Oil and gas explorer BP saw its stock drop 24 pence (4.8%) to 480 pence, after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the company's request for an injunction barring some payments under its 2012 settlement over the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

BP had sought to deny claims by those whose alleged injuries were not traceable to the disaster, in the belief that it is the subject of bogus claims. The company has moved for a rehearing of the decision and is considering its appellate options.

Melrose Industries (MRO 1.30%)
Wednesday saw the release of results from Melrose Industries, the specialist in acquiring and turning round underperforming companies. Headline revenue for the year gained 65% to 1.73 billion pounds (though assuming a full-year's ownership of Elster in 2012, we'd have seen pro forma headline revenue down 3%).

Headline pre-tax profit was up 91% to 226 million pounds, with earnings per share up 45% to 12.8 pence. The stock price? It fell 29 pence (8.7%) over the week to 300 pence.

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Alan Oscroft and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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