LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) is going nowhere today, falling just a few points despite a slight improvement in sentiment toward Asian markets. By late morning it stands at 5,647, down 15 points on yesterday's close.
Individual companies, however, are far more volatile than the index average. Here are three from the various FTSE indexes that are falling faster than the FTSE today.
Wolseley (ISE: WOS.L) Shares in building and plumbing merchant Wolseley fell by 3.4% to 2,249 pence in morning trading after the firm told us it is pondering "strategic options" for its French business. Most are seeing this as preceding a possible withdrawal from the market. With writedowns expected in the firm's French and Danish businesses, there are fears it could now record an annual loss.
Difficulties in the eurozone and related markets should come as no surprise, as many are struggling with consumers who are simply not spending on nonessentials, as we saw with Kesa Electricals (ISE: KESA.L) this week after it also slumped badly.
Low & Bonar (ISE: LWB.L) Low & Bonar, the maker of high-performance yarns, fabrics, and fibers, saw its shares fall 3.6% to 60.75 pence after releasing half-year results that looked, on the face of it, pretty decent. The firm appears to be on track to meet full-year expectations.
Underlying sales rose by 4%, underlying operating profit jumped by 9%, and operating margin was lifted from 6.5% to 6.9%. Basic earnings per share came in at 2.4 pence, compared with 1.87 pence at the same stage last year, and an interim dividend of 0.8 pence per share was announced -- an increase from 0.7 pence.
G4S (ISE: GFS.L)
G4S shares continued their slide today, falling a further 3% to 247 pence. The security firm has now seen a 16% fall in its share price since the news of its Olympics failure broke, and it looks to be hit with costs of up to 50 million pounds to address its inability to supply the contracted number of staff.
The longer-term question is how much of an impact this will have on future contracts, including those from the government. Shareholders must also ask why the firm took on such a low-margin contract with such little room for error in the first place.
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