3 FTSE Shares Being Crushed This Month

Published in Investing on 22 August 2012

Victoria (LSE: VOG), JKX (LSE: JKX) and Latchways (LSE: LTC) are all struggling.

The FTSE 100 (UKX) fell today, down 71 points to 5,786, falling further from its 52-week high of 5,989 points. But it's still a good bit up on its 52-week low of 4,869 points, and over the longer term looks to be heading in the right direction.

Another positive indicator comes from the large number of individual shares soaring to new highs, while there are far fewer plumbing new depths. But some are falling. Here are three from the various FTSE indices being crushed this month...

Victoria

Victoria Oil & Gas (LSE: VOG) has had a torrid time. Its shares reached a 52-week low of just 2.3p at the end of July, before recovering a little. But they've fallen back again, as low as 2.4p on Tuesday. That values the company at just £65m, which is less than half its valuation at its recent peak in March.

The company's gas business in Cameroon has disappointed the markets, and only last week it downgraded its year-end gas production estimates from 5 mmscf/d from 8 mmscf/d. But forecasts suggest a return to profit next year, with a relatively healthy 2014 to follow.

JKX

JKX Oil & Gas (LSE: JKX) has had an even tougher year, dipping to a 52-week low of 82p on Tuesday, before recovering a little to 86.5p at the time of writing. But even that is down more than 50% since a 2012 high was reached in March.

March's preliminary results showed falling production, profits and cash, with May's interim update then telling us that production in the first quarter was down nearly 18%. Since then, a half-time report released on 14 August showed profits falling a little, but very possibly bottoming out -- but analysts are still expecting things to be pretty flat for the next year or two.

Latchways

Industrial safety specialist Latchways (LSE: LTC) has been hovering around its 52-week low point since a slump at the start of August, as investors feared the worst from its pending interim update. And on 14 August that's what they got, in the shape of a slow start to the new financial year with falling orders. Results for the first half are going to be below last year's equivalent, though the firm expects a better second half.

Current City forecasts suggest a dividend of 3.7% this year and 4.1% next, but the shares are still in a relatively high forward price to earnings ratio of around 13.

We've seen a couple of suffering oil and gas companies here, but there really are riches to be had from the sector if you make the right choices. And that's what the new Motley Fool report, “How To Unearth Great Oil & Gas Shares” is all about. It's free, so click here for your personal copy.

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Further Motley Fool investment opportunities:

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

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