From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope
COMMERZBANK was up €0.41 to €23.29. The company is in talks about increasing its stake in Eurohypo. Commerzbank already owns 31.8% of the property lender, with Allianz (AZ
) and Deutsche Bank (DB
) also holding stakes. The company reportedly may pay over €20 per share.
DEUTSCHE TELEKOM (DT
) was down €0.17 to €14.40. The European Commission opened an investigation into the proposed purchase of Austrian mobile operator Tele.ring by DT's Austrian subsidiary. Competition problems could be a possibility if Tele.ring vanishes as a rival to the remaining four mobile phone companies in Austria.
INFINEON was down €0.13 to €8.28. Micron Technology and joint venture partner Nanya Technology are said to be interested in buying the company's memory chip unit. However, FTD had reported that board members favor selling shares via an IPO next year. Meanwhile, the company's fiscal fourth quarter report is due out on Friday. JP Morgan expects total revenues of €1.75 billion, a clean EBIT loss of €54 million and a loss per share of €0.06, in line with consensus on revenues and clean EBIT. It rated the stock underweight.
LINDE was down €0.31 to €59.44. Commerzbank may sell its 10% stake in the company to finance its purchase of Eurohypo, according to market talk. Meantime, Commerzbank refuted any such intention.
ENDESA was up €0.17 to €21.36. The EU has confirmed that Gas Natural's bid for the company is not an EU matter, leaving the issue in the hands of Spanish authorities. The decision by the EU was expected. Separately, the company is due to report nine months results tomorrow. UBS said these results are unlikely to be a driver for the company's shares.
BULGARI was down €0.52 to €8.51. The company reported third-quarter revenues up 7.3% to € operating profit was down 9.1% at €31.9 million and net profit was down 7.6% at €26.3 million, hit by the costs of raw materials and store openings. JP Morgan trimmed its target to €9.6 from €9.7 and rated the stock neutral. Morgan Stanley reiterated its underweight rating and its price target of €9 following disappointing third-quarter results.
NUMICO was up €2.02 to €35.42. JP Morgan upgraded the company to overweight from neutral with a €42 price target, saying that the €1.2 billion acquisition of EAC Nutrition enhanced the company's high growth, high margin model.
PETROLEUM GEO SERV. was up NOK22.00 to NOK187.00. The company said its geophysical and production businesses could exploit their growth capability and opportunities by splitting and operating independently of each other.
ZSCHOKKE was up CHF41.50 to CHF819.50. The company is planning to merge with Batigroup in a deal that would see the combined entity, to be called Implenia, control about 5% of the Swiss construction market.
) was up €0.40 to €10.45. The company won a €2.18 billion contract from Australia's Telstra to incorporate Telstra's different voice and broadband access networks into a single IP-based infrastructure.
) was up €2.70 to €214.70. Oil traded below the U.S. $58 a barrel mark as the market waited to learn whether Wednesday's U.S. oil inventories data would show the sixth consecutive build.
FRANCE TELECOM (FTE
) was down €0.65 to €21.10. The company fell after the UK's Vodafone (VOD
) unveiled disappointing fiscal 2006-fiscal 2007 margin guidance, although first half group revenues of £18.30 billion were in-line.
EADS was down €0.31 to €29.56. The company's rival Boeing (BA
) is planning to build a bigger version of its 747 model to compete with Airbus' A380, for which it has received orders worth U.S. $5 billion.
VODAFONE was down £0.16 to £1.30. Shares were down after the company unveiled first half group revenue of £18.30 billion; mobile telecoms revenue £17.70 billion, +5.8% organic; pretax profit £4.10 billion; free cash flow £3.70 billion. The CEO reportedly said the company is interested in buying SFR, but analysts think a move in the short-term is unlikely.
DIAGEO was down £0.27 to £8.36. Dresdner will cut its fiscal year EBITA forecast for the company by £30 million, following a more bearish than expected trading statement and higher cost impact. The company said fiscal year guidance remains unchanged although the rate of growth in first half performance may be below guidance for fiscal year.
NORTHERN FOODS was up £0.11 to £1.56. The company reported first half continuing sales of £700.0 million; u/l sales growth 3.4%; profit from continuing operations £38.40 million, +7%; pretax profit £25.70 million, +5.8%. It said this was a satisfactory profit performance in a difficult trading environment. The company expects the recent period of price deflation to end and expects progressively to improve its operating margin over the next 18 months. Prepared by Zaida Espana, Michael Sanderson, Mariella Mongio, Alexander Wisch, Holly Cook, Emma Stevenson, Pawan Girglani, and Rocio Opazo-Aniotz (Standard & Poor's); Alex Halperin (BusinessWeek Online)