3 Shares The FTSE Should Beat Today

Published in Investing on 19 December 2012

Bunzl (LSE: BNZL) and Balfour Beatty (LSE: BBL) have a down morning.

The FTSE 100 (UKX) is climbing ever higher after a positive day yesterday, up 30 points to 5,966 today. That's just 23 points from its 52-week high of 5,989 points, so a new record this week might still be on -- just in time to make a nice Christmas present.

There hasn't been much movement in the UK's biggest shares today, but some constituents of the various indices have been falling. Here are three whose shares are on the way down today:


Bunzl (LSE: BNZL) shares fell 47p (4.4%) to 1,019p after the outsourcing firm released its pre-close update, telling us that things are going as expected and it is sticking to its earlier guidance. Revenue at constant exchange rate is expected to be up 6%, with underlying revenue rising 2.5%.

The company also announced two new acquisitions, of McCordick Glove and Atlas Health Care, bringing the year's total to nine. Some of the group's debt has been refinanced, too.

Balfour Beatty

Balfour Beatty (LSE: BBY) shares dropped 1% in early trading to 267p, after the infrastructure firm announced two new gas contracts with National Grid valued at £1.2 billion. The contracts, related to the ongoing installation of polyethylene gas mains, might have been expected to give the share price a boost.

But Balfour Beatty is not in favour with investors at the moment, since the firm's early November profit warning due to weakness in both its UK and US markets. The latest City forecasts since that profit warning, put the shares on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of only 8, so recovery investors might be interested.

Pan African

Pan African Resources (LSE: PAF) dropped 5.3% to 17.3p after updating us on its new rights offer. A little over 370 million new shares were admitted to AIM this morning. The shares climbed impressively when the new issue was first announced in mid-November, but have fallen back since the details were published on 3 December.

Finally, how does Britain’s ace investor Neil Woodford avoid share price falls? He goes for a strategy of buying solid blue-chip shares paying dependable long-term dividends. And in doing so, he's built a record of beating the FTSE for nine straight years.

If you want to see how Mr Woodford manages to beat the market, the free Motley Fool report "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor" takes a look at some of his key holdings. To get your copy, click here while it’s still available.

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

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