3 Shares the FTSE Should Beat Today

LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) limped along, going nowhere much today -- just a four-point gain to 5,778 points. The big miners recovered a little, but not enough to counter the general malaise that seems to be afflicting the market today, as utilities were among those falling a little.

But whatever the index of top U.K. shares is doing, there were quite a few results out today. Here are three companies from the FTSE indexes whose figures weren't as rosy as was hoped.

(ISE: POG.L) crashed by 81.5 pence (17.5%) to 387.4 pence after the gold miner reported a net profit for the six months to June of just $11 million, down 90% from the $108 million it recorded at the same stage last year. That came after a 27% rise in production and a 15% rise in revenues, and was reportedly due to depreciation charges, currency exchange, and interest. Depreciation in the second half is expected to be similar, with interest costs being higher due to a rise in net debt.

But the firm is sticking with production forecasts of 700,000 ounces of gold for the full year. The shares have fallen by 50% in the past 12 months, so is this a buying opportunity? Well, that's for brave investors to decide for themselves.

(ISE: IMI.L) fell 28.5 pence (3.2%) to 855 pence on the day the engineering group released interim figures. Revenues were up 6% to 1.09 billion pounds with pre-tax profit up 7% to 154.4 million pounds. But though the dividend was raised by 7% to 11.8 pence per share, what disappointed the markets was the news that revenue growth is set to slow for the second half of the year -- blamed on weakening economic conditions in Europe.

The shares are still up around 10% over the past 12 months, even if it has been a volatile ride, and forecasts are suggesting a full-year dividend of 3.5%. That should still be safe, even if earnings forecasts are perhaps cut back based on today's warning.

(ISE: KAZ.L) had a much gentler letdown, as its shares fell 12.5 pence (1.8%) to 692 pence, again caused by falling first-half profits. Thanks to a slowdown in demand and falling prices, the copper producer saw underlying profit fall by 65% to $307 million, with bottom-line earnings down 67% from $0.70 per share to just $0.23.

But the company is sticking to its full-year guidance, saying: "The second half of the year should benefit from an increase in output and sales and the outlook for copper demand remains sound."

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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 has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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