3 Shares The FTSE Should Beat Today

Published in Investing on 7 August 2012

Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN) crashes, while Pendragon (LSE: PDG) and Greggs (LSE: GRG) slip

The FTSE 100 (UKX) fell a few points this morning from its three-month high, slipping back below the 5,800 level, and standing ten points down at 5,799 by mid-morning.

Banks and miners have been rebounding a little of late, which has strengthened the index of top UK shares, but the banking sector was largely responsible for today's reversal.

But as ever with the market, this morning witnessed many individual shares within the FTSE indices having a poor session. Here are three names the FTSE 100 should beat today:

Standard Chartered

Standard Chartered (LSE: STAN), the one UK-listed bank pretty much untouched by scandal so far, slumped 280p (19%) to 1,190p -- and the plunge has been headline news since last night.

The bank has been accused by US regulators of hiding transactions involving the Iranian government to the tune of $250 billion. With claims the bank conducted up to 60,000 transactions with clients in Iran, concealing them from regulators in defiance of sanctions against the country, it's feared Standard Chartered could lose its US dealing licence, which could seriously damage its worldwide business.

Pendragon

Pendragon (LSE: PDG) shares fell 7% to 15p after the car dealer announced a rise in profits for the first half of 2012. Reported pre-tax profit rose by 30% to £24 million, but after adjusting for exceptional items, underlying pre-tax profit was up by a smaller margin of 8% to £19 million.

However, with like-for-like vehicle volume growth ahead of the market, and performance in line with expectations, things are looking pretty reasonable. And you'd have done well to buy Pendragon shares twelve months ago -- they're up 50% since then.

Greggs

Greggs (LSE: GRG) fell back a little today, dropping 10p (2%) to 495p, after the high street baker unveiled its interim results. Like-for-like sales fell 2%, though total sales were up 5% to £350 million, thanks to the opening of 33 new shops so far this year. There's a target of 90 new ones for the full year.

With growth progressing through sales to frozen-food chain Iceland, and via motorway service stations, the long term still looks good even if high-street footfall was down a little. The dividend was lifted by 3.4% to 6p per share.

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

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