FTSE Shares That Soared and Plunged This Week

FTSE Shares That Soared and Plunged This Week

LONDON -- At one stage it looked as if the FTSE 100 might be set to end its losing streak, but it turned tail again by Friday and lost 79 points (1.2%) overall to finish the week at 6,413. That's the fourth losing week in a row for the U.K.'s top index, with the Syrian crisis and panic over possible stimulus tapering among the things blamed for the latest drop. But how did individual companies fare during the week? Here are four of the biggest movers.

Perhaps the least surprising announcement of the week came from mobile-phone giant Vodafone, as the company is finally in talks with Verizon Communications with a view to selling its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless. Observers have been expecting a change of ownership for a long time now, and a sale to Verizon could make sense for both companies -- owning such a large stake but with no controlling power is widely seen as not in Vodafone's best interests. Vodafone stock responded with a 15 pence (7.6%) jump over the week to 206 pence.

The new CEO at security firm G4S, Ashley Almanza, is already stamping his authority in a drive to solve the company's severe debt issues, as the company announced a placing of approximately 141 million new shares representing up to 9.99% of the existing capital. The news came on first-half results day, which showed a 7% rise in sales but a 13% fall in EPS -- but Almanza told us that "growth was particularly strong in developing markets where we have excellent market positions." G4S shares ended the week 14 pence (5.7%) up, at 260 pence.

Serco Group
Outsourcing specialist Serco Group suffered a 74 pence (12%) fall in its stock price, to 547.5 pence, after calling in the police following the misreporting of data for a prisoner escort contract. Two millions pounds of profit from the contract so far will be repaid, and the firm will forgo any future profits from it. The news spoiled an otherwise positive set of first-half results, which saw underlying revenues and adjusted pre-tax profit both up 11%.

Miners are once again out of favor, and a 39% slump in first-half earnings didn't help Antofagasta -- its shares dropped 60 pence (6.6%) on the week to 855 pence. Because of a 16% fall in realised copper prices, Antofagasta's revenue fell 12%, despite a rise in actual production volumes. But the company's net cash position has improved to $1.5 billion, and the interim dividend was lifted by 4.7% to 8.9 cents per share.

What now?
Dividends form a core part of many a successful long-term portfolio. Whether you need that income to live on, or want to reinvest it for the long term, there's nothing wrong with collecting robust and attractive payouts. And that's what the Fool's top U.K. analysts have been looking for.

In fact, they have uncovered a stock offering a yield of 5% which they have declared their "Top Income Stock for 2013." The full in-depth report is free and can be accessed immediately -- just click here.

The Motley Fool is helping Britain invest. Better. And with the economy so uncertain, we're urging everyone to read "10 Steps to Making a Million in the Market" -- it may transform your wealth. Click here now to request your free, no-obligation copy.

Further Motley Fool investment opportunities:

The article FTSE Shares That Soared and Plunged This Week originally appeared on Fool.com.

Alan Oscroft has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Antofagasta and Vodafone Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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