The Christmas FTSE 100 Reshuffle
LONDON -- The latest quarterly review of the FTSE 100 has just been published. The review sees a utility drop out of the U.K.'s top index and a travel firm promoted from the FTSE 250 to join the blue-chip elite.
The FTSE committee made its decision after the market closed on Wednesday, and the changes take effect from the start of trading on Christmas Eve.
Down the tubes
Water utility and waste management firm Pennon Group drops out of the FTSE 100. The operator of South West Water and Viridor Waste has seen weakness in recycling prices, and in November the company warned that full-year profit would be below market expectations.
Pennon's shares have fallen from a 52-week high of nearly 800 pence to a low of less than 600 pence. The shares have recovered a little, currently trading at 625 pence -- but not enough to prevent the company from falling through the FTSE 100's trapdoor.
On revised analysts' forecasts for the year to March 2013, Pennon is on a P/E of 14 with a prospective dividend yield of 4.6%, which is below the sector average.
Flying Into the Footsie
The shares of tour operator TUI Travel have soared 80% over the past six months on the back of improving trading. The recovery from the summer lows has seen the FTSE 250 firm promoted to the elite FTSE 100. Promotion is a feather in TUI's cap, but the firm will represent only about 0.2% of the index, which is weighted by market capitalization. TUI's market cap of just more than 3 billion pounds pales in comparison to the Footsie's biggest company, Royal Dutch Shell, which is capitalized at almost 140 billion pounds!
Following the release of TUI's annual results earlier this month, three of the directors immediately took advantage of the buoyant share price by selling 1.2 million shares between them. The price was around 277 pence, so they pocketed a total of more than 3 million pounds.
At TUI's current share price of 283 pence, the forward P/E of less than 11 is still well below the market average, and the dividend yield of 4.4% is a little above.
One to watch
Direct Line Insurance Group was floated on the stock exchange in October and had yet to be included in any index. The flotation price was 175 pence a share, and the shares have done well, rising to their current level of 211 pence. In the run-up to the reshuffle, Direct Line and TUI were neck-and-neck for promotion into the FTSE 100. Having just lost out, Direct Line enters the FTSE 250.
Analyst forecasts for the year to December 2013 put the company on a P/E of 11 and a potential dividend yield of over 6%. That looks a fairly attractive valuation, and if the shares rerate higher, Direct Line could well earn itself a place in the FTSE 100 at the next review in March.
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