3 FTSE Shares Being Crushed Today

Published in Investing on 26 June 2012

Ocado (LSE: OCDO) fails to impress, and Man Group (LSE: EMG) continues its slide.

The FTSE 100 (UKX), along with most European indexes, is really going nowhere today, and at midday was sitting on 5,455 points, which is just a tenth of a percent up on the day.

It looks like we're in a breathing space between the G20 summit and Spain's banking bailout on the one hand, and this week's eurozone leaders' meeting on the other.

Meanwhile, individual companies have had their own problems to deal with...

Online shopping

I was saddened, but not surprised, to see Ocado (LSE: OCDO) shares dumped today. On interim results, they lost 16p, for a 15% loss to 92p. That's a long way down from the flotation price of 180p back in July 2010.

Although the online supermarket reported a return to a pre-tax profit, of £181,000 for the six months to May 13, it still has a big climb to reach the profits that would justify its current valuation. That will need the firm's second warehouse to come online, and the funding for that is still uncertain.

Then there's the competition. Ocado's exclusivity deal with Waitrose has expired, and it is already competing with delivery services from Tesco (LSE: TSCO) and Sainsbury (LSE: SBRY). And there is a big question of how many people really want to do their supermarket shopping online anyway -- for Tesco and the others, it doesn't really matter.

Ace investor Warren Buffett's choice is quite clear, after he snapped up a goodly chunk of Tesco shares when they slipped after Christmas. If you want to read about his take on it, the free Motley Fool report "The One UK Share Warren Buffett Loves" has the details.

Falling fund management

One of the biggest fallers in the FTSE 100 today is investment manager Man Group (LSE: EMG), which is down another 2% today to 73.5p. That would not be remarkable were it not for the hedge fund operator's 44% fall over the past quarter, and there being no sign of any upturn.

The big problem is that its flagship AHL fund has not been performing well enough to levy its high-water management charges, and as a consequence, investors have been withdrawing their cash. The prospective dividend yield is now over 15%, but that is just not going to be anywhere near covered.

After a steady slide from 626p in 2008 to today's price, do you think there's a bargain here? There will be a bottom, but it would take a brave investor to try to call it.

The banks

Still being punished are the UK's big banks, largely as a consequence of the ongoing euro turmoil and the government debt crisis sweeping the continent. But today I'm going to pick on Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS), whose shares fell 7.75p in early trading, to lose 3.3% to 229p.

The reason is the seriously damaging technical failure that has affected huge numbers of customers of its NatWest bank and some other services. Apparently it's all down to a software upgrade gone wrong, but some people have had their balances frozen for days, and the bank has had its branches open all weekend to help with the disaster.

It's not like the other banks have had a good day, mind, and Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY), and Barclays (LSE: BARC) are also down a little, and down quite a lot on the year.

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> Alan Oscroft does not own any shares mentioned in this article.

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The opinions expressed here are those of the individual writers and are not representative of The Motley Fool. If you spot any comments that are unsuitable hit the flag to alert our moderators.

DodgyDealerz 26 Jun 2012 , 3:27pm

Memo to author: MAN Group plc is no longer a FTSE 100 stock, it was relegated this month.

TMFBoing 28 Jun 2012 , 6:47pm

Ah yes, thanks.

Foolish best,

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