http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2005-11-29/on-the-move-eads-swisscom-axa

Markets & Finance

On the Move: EADS, Swisscom, AXA


From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope

France

FRANCE TELECOM (FTE) was down €0.13 to €21.26. A report in Le Parisien suggested that the company and Vivendi's (V) SFR could both face a €250 million fine for market collusion. It added that a decision on peer Bouygues Telecom has not been taken. Meanwhile, the company has withdrawn from the Telsim bid saying its could inflate the price, according to a report in Bloomberg.

EADS was up €0.27 to €31.43. China will place an order for Airbus A320 jets during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to France this weekend, the WSJ reported citing a Chinese airline official.

AXA (AXA) was down €0.39 to €25.59. The company has acquired the Canadian subsidiary of CSFB's Winterthur for €226 million.

TOTAL (TOT) was down €1.20 to €212.40. Crude oil prices fell again, with WTI futures trading at US$56.05 per barrel after weekly US inventories showed crude oil stocks fell by a more-than-expected 4.2 million barrels, against a forecast of a fall of 0.1 million. Distillate stocks that include heating oil rose by 3.4 million barrels, stronger than the 0.8 million increase the market had expected.

CLARINS was up €1.59 to €46.65. Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to in-line from underperform, underlying the company 's cosmetics brands accessible price points as customers trade down.

Germany

THYSSEN KRUPP was down €0.06 to €17.09. The company 's outlook on debt was cut by S&P to negative after the close Tuesday following the company's bid for Dofasco of CAD$4.8 billion. Moody's took a more benign view of matters. Arcelor is considering outbidding the company for the Canadian steelmaker, according to Handelsblatt. Meanwhile, the company's fiscal 2004/05 figures are due out on Thursday.

METRO AG was up €0.82 to €38.02. For the industry as a whole, German retail sales rose 1.9% m/m in October in real terms - much better than expected.

PROSIEBEN was up €0.11 to €15.14. The company and rival broadcaster RTL plan to introduce charges for viewing their TV programs, FAZ said, with talks under way with satellite operator SES Astra to encode their programs.

Nordics

NOKIA was down €0.18 to €14.52. The company hosts its annual meeting in New York Thursday and Friday. CSFB said it remains structurally positive for the stock and maintains an outperform rating and FV of €16. However, it noted that there is a risk that the company may adjust/push-out margins targets for the devices and networks businesses at the event.

Switzerland

SWISSCOM (SCM) was up CHF2.00 to CHF411.25. The company says it is in discussions with representatives of the Swiss Confederation, regarding the federal government's decision to veto any possible acquisition abroad and, instead, to support the distribution of free capital to shareholders. The company intends to inform the general public next week, at the earliest, what action it intends to take.

United Kingdom

DAILY MAIL was up £0.77 to £7.53. The company announced fiscal year turnover of £2.138 billion, +1%; operating profit £207.2 million, +14%; pretax profit £162.9 million, +31%. It said adjusted pretax profit rose 8% to £253 million, boosted by DMF Information and Euromoney Institutional Investor. The numbers were ahead of forecasts. The company is considering the possible sale of Northcliffe Newspapers and said part of the proceeds could be returned to shareholders.

ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE was down £0.03 to £1.14. JP Morgan downgraded the stock to neutral from overweight, noting the stock has breached its sum-of-the-parts target price, and said valuation at 1.35x net asset value looks full.

BP (BP) was down £0.07 to £6.35. WTI futures traded lower, just above US$56 Wednesday morning, on mild weather in the US and ahead of this afternoon's US oil inventories data.

GO-AHEAD GROUP was up £1.20 to £15.45. The company 's 65% owned Govia has won the franchise for the new 8 year Integrated Kent Franchise. It is expected to generate revenue of approximately £560 million at the outset, inclusive of subsidy.

Netherlands

CORUS (NL) was up €0.05 to €0.82. The metal company reported third quarter turnover of £2.38 billion; operating profit £103 million; EBITDA £176 million; pretax profit £80 million; net profit £50 million. Numbers were ahead of forecasts. It said the balance between supply and demand has been gradually restored, with European stock levels returning to normal. Apparent demand also improved during the fourth quarter.

FRANCE TELECOM (FTE) was down €0.04 to €21.35. A report in Le Parisien suggested that the company and Vivendi's (V) SFR could both face a €250 million fine for market collusion. It added that a decision on peer Bouygues Telecom has not been taken. Meanwhile, the company has withdrawn from the Telsim bid saying its could inflate the price, according to a report in Bloomberg.

EADS was up €0.23 to €31.39. China will place an order for Airbus A320 jets during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to France this weekend, the WSJ reported citing a Chinese airline official.

AXA (AXA) was down €0.27 to €25.71. The company has acquired the Canadian subsidiary of CSFB's Winterthur for €226 million.

TOTAL (TOT) was down €1.50 to €212.10. Crude oil prices fell again, with WTI futures trading at US$56.20 per barrel in Asia this morning. The retreat was prompted by mild US weather ahead of Wednesday afternoon's report on US oil inventories.

CLARINS was up €1.12 to €46.18. Goldman Sachs upgraded the stock to in-line from underperform, underlying the company 's cosmetics brands accessible price points as customers trade down.

Germany

THYSSEN KRUPP was down €0.08 to €17.07. The company 's outlook on debt was cut by S&P to negative after the close Tuesday following the company's bid for Dofasco of CAD$4.8 billion. Moody's took a more benign view of matters. Arcelor is considering outbidding the company for the Canadian steelmaker, according to Handelsblatt. Meanwhile, the company's fiscal 2004/05 figures are due out on Thursday.

METRO AG was up €0.44 to €37.64. For the industry as a whole, German retail sales rose 1.9% m/m in October in real terms - much better than expected.

PROSIEBEN was up €0.12 to €15.15. The company and rival broadcaster RTL plan to introduce charges for viewing their TV programs, FAZ said, with talks under way with satellite operator SES Astra to encode their programs.

Nordics

NOKIA was down €0.11 to €14.59... The company hosts its annual meeting in New York Thursday and Friday. CSFB said it remains structurally positive for the stock and maintains an outperform rating and FV of €16. However, it noted that there is a risk that the company may adjust/push-out margins targets for the devices and networks businesses at the event.

Switzerland

SWISSCOM (SCM) was up CHF5.00 to CHF413.25. The company says it is in discussions with representatives of the Swiss Confederation, regarding the federal government's decision to veto any possible acquisition abroad and, instead, to support the distribution of free capital to shareholders. The company intends to inform the general public next week, at the earliest, what action it intends to take.

United Kingdom

DAILY MAIL was up £0.75 to £7.51.The company announced fiscal year turnover of £2.138 billion, +1%; operating profit £207.2 million, +14%; pretax profit £162.9 million, +31%. It said adjusted pretax profit rose 8% to £253 million, boosted by DMF Information and Euromoney Institutional Investor. The numbers were ahead of forecasts. The company is considering the possible sale of Northcliffe Newspapers and said part of the proceeds could be returned to shareholders.

ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE was down £0.02 to £1.15. JP Morgan downgraded the stock to neutral from overweight, noting the stock has breached its sum-of-the-parts target price, and said valuation at 1.35x net asset value looks full.

BP (BP) was down £0.05 to £6.37. WTI futures traded lower, just above US$56 Wednesday morning, on mild weather in the US and ahead of this afternoon's US oil inventories data.

GO-AHEAD GROUP was up £1.38 to £15.63. The company 's 65% owned Govia has won the franchise for the new 8 year Integrated Kent Franchise. It is expected to generate revenue of approximately £560 million at the outset, inclusive of subsidy.

Netherlands

CORUS (NL) was up €0.04 to €0.81. The metal company reported third quarter turnover of £2.38 billion; operating profit £103 million; EBITDA £176 million; pretax profit £80 million; net profit £50 million. Numbers were ahead of forecasts. It said the balance between supply and demand has been gradually restored, with European stock levels returning to normal. Apparent demand also improved during the fourth quarter. Prepared by Zaida Espana, Valerie Vidal, Michael Sanderson, Mariella Mongio, Alexander Wisch, Holly Cook, Emma Stevenson, Pawan Girglani, Julien Manrique, and Rocio Opazo-Aniotz (Standard & Poor's); Alex Halperin (BusinessWeek Online)


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