3 Shares the FTSE 100 Should Beat Today


LONDON -- The FTSE 100 has started the week with a moderate fall from last Friday's close, down 0.38% to 6,354 as of 7:40 a.m. EST. Proposed new measures in China aimed at cooling an overheating property market raised fears of a fall in commodities demand, sending the big FTSE 100 miners down in morning trading.

But there are some companies whose shares are falling further than the index today. Here are three of them.

Debenhams added to shareholders' woes today, as the share price has dropped another 11.2% to 84 pence. The price has slumped more than 30% since November highs of more than 120 pence, with today's fall being triggered by a first-half trading update.

Although the stores were performing well after Christmas, with like-for-like sales up 2.9% for the first 18 weeks of the half, the cold weather and snow sent January's like-for-like sales down 10%, and additional promotional events in February have not succeeded in fully recovering the lost trade. Pre-tax profit for the first half is now expected to be about 120 million pounds.

The morning's response to preliminary results took a little shine off the recent strong run on Amlin shares, taking the price down 2.4% to 421 pence. The specialist insurance firm turned 2011's 193.8 million pound pre-tax loss into a 264.2 million pound profit for 2012, even after 141.6 million pounds in claims stemming from Hurricane Sandy (2011 brought a total of 500 million pounds in catastrophe claims).

The firm managed an investment return of 165.3 million pounds -- equivalent to 4.1% -- and saw net tangible assets rise from 243 pence to 258.5 pence per share. The full-year dividend was lifted by 4.3% to 24 pence per share.

Shares in oil & gas engineering services firm Lamprell fell 2.3% to 128 pence on news that James Moffatt has taken up his role as chief executive and that his acting counterpart, Peter Whitbread, has stood down and will remain on the board.

Lamprell shares crashed by more than 50% last May after the firm issued a shock profit warning, and they haven't really recovered much since -- a positive start to 2013 has pretty much tailed off of late, and there's a pre-tax loss of 67 million pounds expected for the year to December 2012. But today's announcement did also say, "We have made significant progress over the last six months."

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

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