3 Shares The FTSE Should Beat Today

Published in Investing on 6 November 2012

Morgan Sindall (LSE: MGNS) issues a profit warning, and Premier Oil (LSE: PMO) drills a dud.

The FTSE 100 (UKX) is bouncing back up a bit today, gaining 38 points to 5,877 points and reversing yesterday's decline. The index has been slowly pushing upwards in recent weeks, but sentiment seems to keep holding it back from the utterly unimportant 5,900 level.

But even if the FTSE is up a bit, some individual constituents of the various indices are not having such a good day...

Morgan Sindall

Shares in construction firm Morgan Sindall (LSE: MGNS) slumped today, losing 38p (5.7%) to 623p, after the firm released a profit warning and told us that chief executive Paul Smith has resigned. We were told that, due to continuing difficulties in the UK construction business, this year's trading is now going to be "slightly below" current expectations.

The latest consensus suggested a full-year profit of £43m, and that is certain to be downgraded now. But we're still going to be left with the shares on a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of under 9. A dividend of 42p per share was also forecast, which amounts to 6.7%, so there's plenty of room for a cut there too, while still leaving an attractive payout.

DS Smith

Packaging supplier DS Smith (LSE: SMDS) saw its shares lose 9p (4.2%) to 206p, despite a first-half trading update confirming that things are going as expected. Margins are expected to be within the previously published target of 7-9%, and European trading has been strong, although trading in the UK has apparently been "held back by its high exposure to the paper cycle".

For the full year, the firm is expecting "substantial year-on-year eps growth".

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Premier Oil

Premier Oil (LSE: PMO) dropped 5.6p (1.6%) to 354.5p after its Spaniards East well failed to produce the black stuff, and was plugged and abandoned. The exploratory well, which was drilled to a depth of over 10,000 feet, found 75 feet of Jurassic sands, but they turned out to be waterlogged.

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

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