3 Shares the FTSE Should Beat Today


LONDON -- The FTSE 100 is turning down a little as it reaches the end of the week, falling eight points to 5,922 by 10 a.m. EST. But we've still had a pretty good run over the past few weeks, with the index of top U.K. stocks hitting a number of nine-month highs.

Individual shares have not shown much movement today, but we have seen one big fall and a few smaller ones.

The big fall of the day was in Volex shares, which fell 33% to 94 pence after the firm released another profit warning. Volex, which makes cables and wiring assemblies for the electronics industry, told us that prior expectations of second-half growth have not materialized but that demand has instead fallen and the company is experiencing delays in some projects.

This comes on top of a previous warning back in September, when the firm told us of "a recent unexpected change in forecast demand from the company's largest customer in its consumer sector and the continuing adverse macroeconomic conditions." That led to a similar fall in the share price.

Punch Taverns shares have slipped 1% to 7.4 pence today after the firm released an interim statement telling us that things are going as expected. What presumably disappointed the market was the confirmation that, though noncore assets are being sold, net income from core properties is expected to fall over the short term.

Punch shares had been on a bit of a mini-recovery in the past couple of weeks, but they're still down about 35% over the last 12 months.

Rockhopper Exploration has fallen further today, losing 2.4% to 156 pence on the occasion of the company's half-year report. Losses for the period fell from $26 million to $6 million, but that was due to the end of Rockhopper's drilling and seismic operations in the Falklands Basin for the season.

There's about $270 million in the bank to fund future operations, and chairman Pierre Jungels expressed the need to address the "underperformance of the current share price," which has dropped 60% since its year-high of 400 pence.

Finally, how does Britain's ace investor Neil Woodford avoid share price falls? He goes for a strategy of buying solid blue-chip shares paying dependable long-term dividends. And in doing so, he's built a record of beating the FTSE for nine straight years.

If you want to see how Woodford manages to beat the market, the free Motley Fool report "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor" takes a look at some of his key holdings. To get your copy, click here while it's still available.

The article 3 Shares the FTSE Should Beat Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

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