3 Shares The FTSE Should Beat Today

Published in Investing on 11 September 2012

Burberry (LSE: BRBY) crashes, and Oxford Instruments (LSE: OXIG) slumps.

The FTSE 100 (UKX) is still hovering around last week's close, 17 points down on the day at 5,776 points. The lack of either exuberance or panic is probably a measure of relief after last week's European Central Bank plans to support the euro were met with enthusiasm.

But even if the index is holding up, there are individual companies whose prices are suffering this week. Here are three that the FTSE should beat today...

Burberry

Burberry (LSE: BRBY) has been climbing in recent months, but hit the buffers today with a 267p (19%) fall to 1,108p. The reason? An announcement today that, though sales for the 10 weeks ending 8 September rose by 6% due to a "more challenging external environment for the sector", pre-tax profits for the full year are now expected to come in towards the lower end of current market expectations.

It's an example of what happens when strong profit growth is expected from a company, but then it comes in merely very good rather than sensational -- it's all part of the "quarter by quarter" mentality that afflicts so many investors.

Oxford Instruments

Oxford Instruments (LSE: OXIG) slumped by 97p (7%) to 1,268p after issuing its AGM statement this morning. The firm, which makes high-technology tools and systems for industry and research, told us that its trading remains pretty much in line with expectations. But the markets clearly didn't like the additional comment that the firm is seeing "some softness" in its industrial markets.

The shares are still up more than 50% over the past 12 months, and on a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 20, they've clearly got a bit more growth priced into them. There is no meaningful dividend to speak of yet -- it's less than 1%.

Betfair

Shares in Betfair (LSE: BET) lost 15p (2%) to 733p, on the day of the company's first-quarter interim update. Although the quarter saw nice overall growth with core revenue up 13% to £91.6 million over the same quarter last year, we were told that growth was slowed in August by punters being distracted by the Olympics, and interest in betting on footie and the gee-gees subsequently waned that month.

And that, apparently, was the reason for the price fall -- another example of the "quarter by quarter" madness.

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

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