3 Shares The FTSE Should Beat Today

Published in Investing on 25 September 2012

Hargreaves Services (LSE: HSP) falls on mining problems.

The FTSE 100 (UKX) is still moving sideways, and is only three points above yesterday's close, at 5,864 points, at the time of writing -- and that's after closing just 14 points down yesterday. It seems unlikely there will be much movement in the index of top shares without any economic news.

Still, it's best to forget the indices really, and just keep our eyes peeled for individual shares in the news. Here are three that are falling today...

Hargreaves Services

Hargreaves Services (LSE: HSP), the coal producer, was one of today's big fallers, dropping 144p (21%) to 550p on the release of preliminary results. The results themselves were very good, but the price fell due to fears over "geological problems" that continue to threaten its Maltby mine in Yorkshire.

Record revenues of £688m were posted, for a rise of 25%, with pre-tax profit coming in 17% ahead of last year at £43m, and the dividend was hiked by 15% to 17.8p. But the effects of problems at Maltby did not hit these figures -- the damage will be felt in the next set of results, with an £8m loss already budgeted.

Close Brothers

Close Brothers Group (LSE: CBG) fell a little, losing 18.5p (2%) to 832p after it released preliminary results for the year to July 2012. Overall adjusted operating profit came in slightly ahead of last year, up 2% to £134m, with adjusted earnings per share (eps) up 4% to 67.3p. The dividend was lifted by a modest 1.5p to 41.5p, for a nice yield of 4.9%.

It's perhaps easy to see why the market's reaction was muted, as the results were pretty much just flat really -- but that 4.9% yield is nice, and the basic eps figure puts the shares on a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.


Oil explorer Mediterranean Oil & Gas (LSE: MOG) fell a little on interim results, dropping just 1% to 12.5p, despite the results looking good. The firm enjoyed revenue of €8.5m -- €7.9m once assets due to be transferred to Canoel International Energy are excluded, and a similarly exclusive operational profit of €2.3m.

Chief executive William Higgs told us that the first half of the year was a period of consolidation, and overall it sounds like the company is progressing nicely.

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

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