GermanyDaimlerChrysler was up €0.98 to €41.50 on a report in the German magazine Stern that former Chrysler executive and current Volkswagen brand group head Wolfgang Bernhard would return to the carmaker.
Sporting-goods maker Puma was up €3.48 to €216.00 after Credit Suisse First Boston lifted its target to €297.40 from €280.60, with an outperform rating.
Deutsche Boerse was up €2.00 to €73.72 as its second-quarter net profit rose 62% year over year to €109.6 million on the back of revenues that were up 13% at €405.5 million. The company expects to beat its 2005 target for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of €600 million by at least 5%. Credit Suisse First Boston believes this is unsurprising given the €352 million delivered in the first half and the strong trading environment in July. Further on the broker front, Deutsche Bank upgraded the company to buy from hold, with a target of €80. Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein lifted its target to €80.90 from €69 as it reiterated an add rating, saying given its healthy momentum, the company is probably its preferred play in this space, with the London Stock Exchange looking increasingly expensive.
Builder Hochtief was up €2.08 to €33.98 on rumors that French group Vinci or British outfit George Wimpey are interested in buying the company. Nothing was substantiated. Vinci, which denied the rumor, was up €0.85 to €71.45, and Wimpey, which would not comment, was down £0.01 to £4.09 on the rumors.
Beiersdorf, the maker of medical consumer products and Nivea skin cream, was up €3.21 to €96.11 as it reported second-quarter earnings before interest and taxes of €138 million, above the €120 million it post in the period last year and and a touch ahead of expectations. Quarterly profit after tax came in at €88 million and sales at €1.26 billion.
Suez was up €1.54 to €23.54 after Standard and Poor's Equity Research upgraded the utility to buy from sell and kept its €18.80 target price as the group announced it is planning a combined cash and shares offer for the remaining stake in the Belgian power provider Electrabel that it does not yet own. The analyst said that the energy business is a key profit driver for the company.
Oil group Total was up €2.70 to €211.40, as crude oil reached record highs because of warnings of a possible terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia and concerns about Iran's resumption of its nuclear programme.
Stock exchange Euronext was up €0.76 to €32.36 after the Swiss bank UBS raised its target to €34.7 from €30.5 and kept a neutral rating, as the broker looks for a potential deal for the London Stock Exchange.
Cosmetics company L'Oreal was up €1.10 to €65.15 after Swiss bank UBS raised its target to €74 from €70, and kept its buy rating. The broker noted that this is a price target adjustment.
The bank UBS was down 1.30 Swiss francs to 104.60 francs after reporting a second-quarter net profit of 2.15 billion francs, compared to the expected 2.2 billion expected. Investment bank pre-tax profit came in at 1.08 billion Swiss francs against the 1.16 billion francs expected. The bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein said that, although the company accumulated more assets under management in the wealth management units, it may not be enough to impress investors used to noticeable financial outperformance. Kepler said that the numbers could be seen as adisappointment, particularly as the company has established a track record of overdelivering on expectations. Merrill Lynch said that it thinks that while the company missed its investment banking forecast, the performance was no worse, and in fact slightly better than other investment banks.
Shipping and oil group Moeller Maersk was up 2900 Danish kroner to 68,700 kroner after the brokerage Cheuvreux raised its target to 77,000 kroner from 75,000 kroner and reiterated that it is on its selected list. Separately, the company said that the acquisition of P&O Nedlloyd will generate integration costs amounting to 3 billion kroner. More than half of this will be included in 2005 results and the rest in 2006. Separately, the company has made investments of at least 50 billion Danish kroner in 2005, reported daily Boersen, which said that the company continues to look for new targets.
BritainStandard Chartered bank was up £0.28 to £12.39 as brokers increased their target price en masse. UBS bank raised its target to £13.00 from £10.50 and kept its neutral stance. Deutsche Bank raised its target to £11.00 from £10.00 and kept its hold stance. Goldman Sachs upgraded the group to in-line from underperform. Societe Generale lifted its target to £13.0 from £9.6 and kept its hold rating. Lehman Brothers raised its target to £11.31 from £10.20 and maintained an equal weight recommendation. The brokerage Cheuvreux increased its target to £12.50 from £11.00, but kept its underperform rating. ABN-Amro upgraded the company to hold from reduce and lifted its target to £11.50 from £8.40.
Royal Dutch Shell was down £0.31 to £18.36 as crude oil traded at record highs following the closure of the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia, amid fears of a possible terrorist attack, and concerns over Iran's resumption of its nuclear program. Separately, the company's offer period to shareholders of Royal Dutch Petroleum ended at 13:00 GMT today. Reminder: the company has received over 95% of Royal Dutch Petroleum's shares. This enables it to acquire the remaining shares by force following the end of the offer period today.
Tullow Oil, an independent oil and gas exploration and production group, was up £0.08 to £2.08 after the bank UBS initiated with a neutral rating and a £2.00 price target.
Exploration company Cairn Energy was up £1.12 to £17.21 after the bank UBS upgraded the group to buy from neutral and lifted its target price to £19.60 from £15.30.
Supermarket group Ahold was up €0.14 to €7.17 after the investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein upgraded the company to buy from hold and lifted its target to €7.80 from €6.50.