3 Shares the FTSE Should Beat Today

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LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) is remaining pretty flat today, just two points up at 5,531 after yesterday's eurozone scares brought to an end its recent rally. Pleas for financial help from several regions of Spain reminded the world that the crisis is far from over and pushed Spanish 10-year bond yields beyond 7.5%.

Meanwhile, the FTSE indexes see their individual constituents heading up and down every day. Here are three facing their own difficulties today.

Titan
A profit warning sent Titan Europe shares tumbling 13% to 107 pence today. Partly due to the weakening of the euro, sterling-denominated profits will now be "materially below current market expectations."


Business at the steel-wheel manufacturer was also hurt by weakening trading conditions in China and earthquake damage to one of its plants in northern Italy.

Somewhat ironically, continued euro weakness should help the firm's debt position, but uncertainty has made the shares a volatile prospect over the past year.

PZ Cussons (ISE: PZC.L) Preliminary results from PZ Cussons revealed falling profits and sent the shares down 4.7% to 306.5 pence. The firm, famed for its Imperial Leather soap, suffered from the costs of redundancies and from restructuring writedowns. Despite a 4.7% increase in revenue, it recorded a 15% fall in pretax profits to 92 million pounds.

Adjusted earnings per share fell by 9% to 14.74 pence, but the company lifted its dividend by 1.6% to 6.717 pence per share for a yield of 2%.

Dragon Oil (ISE: DGO.L)
Shares in Dragon Oil fell by 3% to 544 pence despite a trading update telling us the oil and gas explorer had increased its average production rate. The firm said production came in at 64,200 barrels of oil per day in the first half of the year from its Cheleken Contract Area, which is in the Caspian Sea off the coast of Turkmenistan.

With 12 wells completed to date, Dragon expects production rate growth for the full year between 10% and 15%, reaching a target plateau of 100,000 barrels per day by 2015.

What now?
Once again, a batch of shares lost ground in this choppy market. If you want less volatile investments, you're generally safer sticking to large, dividend-paying companies -- and The Motley Fool's report "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor" is a good way to find them. In this free report, we've analyzed the 20 billion pound portfolio of legendary City fund manager Neil Woodford. Click here now to discover his favorite large-caps with high dividends and steady growth potential. But hurry -- the report is free for a limited time only.

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The article 3 Shares the FTSE Should Beat Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Alan Oscroft does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of PZ Cussons. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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