LONDON -- The FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE) is having a good time today on the back of improving U.K. economic sentiment and is up 66 points, or 1.1%, to 5,871 as I write. The U.K.'s rate of inflation slowing to 2.2% seems to have put eurozone economic fears on the back burner -- at least for now.
But even if the overall FTSE is rising, there are individual companies whose shares are falling. Let's discuss three in the news that look set to lag the wider market.
GKN (ISE: GKN.L)
FTSE 100 engineer GKN fell today, losing 3.8% to 204 pence after releasing a trading update that, on the face of it, didn't look too bad. For the three months to Sept. 30, sales rose 8% to 1.6 billion. But pre-tax profits did fall a little -- by 1 million pounds to 99 million pounds -- as the quarter's trading margin dropped from 7.6% to 7.1%.
Full-year forecasts still put the shares on a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.4, which doesn't look overvalued, though the expected dividend is a modest 3.4%.
Fastnet (ISE: FAST.L)
Fastnet Oil & Gas dropped 8.2% to 22.5 pence on the day it revealed that, after its acquisition of Pathfinder Hydrocarbon in July, it has received Moroccan government approval for a "farm-down" of its operations to Kosmos Energy. The offshore area is described as being "in a region that is attracting a lot of industry attention and with very prospective deepwater geology."
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Carpetright (ISE: CPR.L)
Carpetright fell modestly today, down 1.4% to 690 pence on the release of a preclose statement for the 12 weeks to Oct. 13.
The carpet retailer said things were pretty much in line with expectations, with total U.K. sales falling by 0.6% and like-for-like sales rising by 0.6%. In the rest of Europe, though, total sales fell by 12%, knocking some confidence from the recent share price rise. (The shares are up 40% over 12 months.)
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Alan Oscroft 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.