3 Shares the FTSE Should Beat Today


LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) still appears to be in the grip of euro-worries, falling 11 points to 5,562 this morning. Fears have not been assuaged by European Central Bank president Mario Draghi's assurance that he'll save the euro at all cost.

But we are starting to see some good company results come through, though a few members of the FTSE indexes have had bad news to report. Here are three not doing so well this morning that look set to lag the market today.

Toy and games maker Character Group saw its shares slide by 12% to 120 pence after revealing that it will not meet market expectations for the year to August. International sales are apparently holding up well, but trading in the U.K. is proving tougher than expected.

Factors said to be affecting sales include the bad weather, the Jubilee celebrations, the Euro 2012 football, the Olympics, and that perennial bugbear: the eurozone crisis. Oh, for a year in which nothing happens.

Anglo-American (ISE: AAL.L) Shares in FTSE 100 miner Anglo-American fell 4% to 1,889 pence after first-half profits were hit by falling commodity prices.

Total group revenue fell 10% to $16.4 billion, with pretax profit slashed by 55% from $6.6 billion to just $2.9 billion. But despite underlying earnings per share falling by 47% to $1.38, the interim dividend was lifted 14% to $0.32 per share.

The results emphasized the cyclical nature of the commodities sector, although there could be a long-term bargain here if you're brave enough; Anglo's P/E is about 10.

Pearson (ISE: PSON.L) Publisher Pearson reported a 10% fall in adjusted operating profit to 188 million pounds this morning, despite sales growing by 6% to 2.6 billion pounds. The share price slid 4% to 1,239 pence.

The company, which publishes the Financial Times and Penguin books, still expects growth in sales and profits by the year-end, even though the first half had been "tough."

Despite today's setback, the shares are still up 10% during the past 12 months, and we should still be seeing a dividend yield of around 3.5%.

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