3 Shares the FTSE 100 Should Beat Today


LONDON -- The FTSE 100 has been pushed downward by falls among some of its biggest constituents today, dropping 0.63% to 6,319 points by 9 a.m. EST. And news that the economies of France and Germany shrank by 0.3% and 0.6%, respectively, in the final three months of the year didn't help.

So which companies are dragging the FTSE 100 down? Here are three of the day's biggest fallers.

Engineering services and consultancy firm AMEC announced a 20% rise in its dividend today, but the share price still fell by 6% to 1,057 pence. Revenue for the year to December rose 28% to 4.2 billion pounds. But underlying revenue managed a 21% rise, and when 320 million pounds of incremental procurement is excluded, that drops to 12%.

Pre-tax profit only grew by 2% to 263 million pounds, but adjusted earnings per share came in at 80.4 pence, up 14%, enabling that 20% lift in the dividend to 36.5 pence per share.

Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto also raised its dividend today -- and also saw its share price fall. This time we saw an 18% rise in the company's annual payout, followed by a 0.85% price fall to 3,725 pence. But revenue fell by $10 billion to $50 billion, with underlying earnings falling by $6 billion to $9 billion. The dividend of 106.77 pence per share represents a yield of 2.9% on the latest price.

A fall in earnings was expected by analysts, who have a return to growth penciled in for the current year. Today's results put Rio Tinto shares on a P/E of about 12, but forecasts show that dropping to less than 10 for next December.

After reaching a new 52-week high yesterday, shares in cruise operator Carnival dropped 2.8% today to 2,503 pence. The cause was a warning issued after the close of markets yesterday that "voyage disruptions and related repair costs" would impact first-half earnings by between $0.08 and $0.10 per share.

There has already been one broker downgrade as a result, so we'll need to see how a new consensus develops.

What's the best way to deal with share price falls? One way is to focus on dividends, which can be spent or reinvested according to your needs. Whether you're investing for income or growth, good old cash is always welcome. And that's why I recommend the brand-new Fool report "The Motley Fool's Top Income Share For 2013," in which our top analysts identify a share they believe will provide handsome dividend income for years to come. But it will only be available for a limited period, so click here to get your copy today.

The article 3 Shares the FTSE 100 Should Beat Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Alan 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.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.