3 FTSE Shares Being Crushed This Month


LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) continued to be rattled by poor confidence in miners and banks again today, falling 15 points to 5,760 by early afternoon. But it's still a good bit up on its 52-week low of 4,869 points, and hopefully it won't be plumbing depths like that again.

But while it falls a little, some individual members of the FTSE indexes are falling a lot. Here are three wondering where their bottoms are.

Immunodiagnostic Systems (ISE: IDH.L)
Immunodiagnostic Systems
came very close to its 52-week low again, hitting 245 pence yesterday. Back up a few pennies to 248 pence at the time of writing, and the shares have lost a massive 78% since their 12-month high of 1,125 pence set back in August 2011.

A number of weak trading statements, annual results that showed a fall in pre-tax profits from 16.5 million pounds to 7.3 million pounds, and several board shakeups have damaged confidence in the company. But forecasts put the shares on a lowly price-to-earnings ratio of 6.3 for 2013, falling to six for the following year, so they might be oversold.

Essar (ISE: ESSR.L)
Essar Energy
is reaching for the depths again, hitting a new low of 99.7 pence yesterday to take the shares down 75% from their 52-week high of 400 pence in November. The India-based oil firm lost its billionaire chairman earlier in the year after criminal charges were brought against him in relation to India's telecommunications industry. And investors are now being advised by Pensions & Investment Research Consultants to reject his succession by his nephew, Prashant Ruia, at the company's annual general meeting, claiming he is not independent under the London Stock Exchange's corporate-governance rules.

The management shenanigans added to a number of delays to dampen the enthusiasm of investors, leading to the ongoing share crash.

Latchways (ISE: LTC.L)
looked like it was picking itself up from a 52-week low of 939 pence set on Aug. 16, climbing back to 970 pence yesterday. But today the shares are down to 960 pence at the time of writing, denting hopes of a recovery.

Results released in June weren't too bad, with pre-tax profit up 7% to 9.9 million pounds, but the new year had apparently started slowly for the fall-protection engineer. And then an interim statement on Aug. 14 told us that first-half performance will be down on last year due to uncertain economic conditions but that the firm was "confident of a successful outcome."

How that will affect full-year forecasts is not yet known, but they're generally positive, suggesting dividend yields of 3.8% and 4%, respectively, for the next two years.

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