3 Shares the FTSE Should Beat Today

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LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) appears to be taking another day off, having moved less than a point so far to 5,499 points as the tug-of-war between U.K. company earnings and eurozone debt fears continues.

Speaking of U.K. companies, here are three from the FTSE indexes whose share prices have fallen today.

Lamprell (ISE: LAM.L)
Lamprell
had 42% slashed from the value of its shares, which fell to 71 pence after the oil and gas construction engineer released a further profit warning. The shares were crushed in May, falling from a month's high of 367 pence to 99 pence when the firm warned of a first-half loss and full-year results "considerably below the Board's original expectation" due to project delays.


In June, that H1 loss was quantified at around $15 million to $20 million, but today we hear it will be nearer $45 million, and a full-year loss is now on the cards! That's quite a revision, and it must surely raise questions about whether the board really knows what's happening.

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BG (ISE: BG.L)
BG Group
slid 1% to 1,206 pence after reporting a 76% fall in second-quarter profits, largely due to its writedown of American gas assets based on gas price forecasts.

After adjusting for that, we saw a much more modest 4% fall in Q2 profits and a 5% fall in earnings per share. And the adjusted first half looked fair -- a 6% rise in profits, leading to a 20% rise in EPS -- but full-year forecasts have been scaled back.

The interim dividend was lifted 10% to $0.1188 per share, suggesting a full-year yield of 1.4%.

AstraZeneca (ISE: AZN.L)
AstraZeneca
shares fell 1.3% after the pharmaceuticals giant released an interim report telling us how the tough economy, coupled with increased competition from generic drugs, resulted in lower first-half profits. First-half sales fell by 16% to $14 billion, with pretax profits dropping 37% to $6.4 billion.

European sales were hurt by cash-strapped governments reigning in their drug spending, and revenues from emerging markets grew by a disappointing 1% due to supply problems; the firm reckons it would have been 8% otherwise.

AstraZeneca, one of Neil Woodford's key investments, has not been as swift as rival GlaxoSmithKline (ISE: GSK.L) to diversify away from the classic "blockbuster" drug model and looks set to suffer more while it adjusts.

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

Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. 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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