From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope
DEUTSCHE BANK (DB) was down €0.13 to €81.29. the company won't bail out investors in its €6.1 billion property fund, it said, but may face legal action over its decision to freeze the fund at its subsidiary DB Real Estate until a revaluation of the property holdings can be completed. Backtracking, the company later said it will support the troubled fund, but gave no detailed measures.
CELESIO was up €2.14 to €68.70. The company plans to expand its drugstore business in Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands, CEO Fritz Oesterle told FTD.
TECHEM was up €0.05 to €37.40. The company saw fiscal year net profit slide 10% to €39.9 million for the period to end-September, worse than expected, but the company said it will pay a dividend, which would be for the first time since its IPO in 2000.
SCHWARZ PHARMA was up €3.65 to €48.65. A CHMP drug panel backed the use of neupro.
B. POP. ITALIANA was down €0.50 to €6.43. Antonio Fazio, governor of the Bank of Italy, has been accused of having supported Gianpiero Fiorani, former CEO of the company who was arrested for market rigging maneuvers, Finanza & Mercati said. Fiorani and four ex-managers were arrested in connection with the Banca Antonveneta takeover investigation, according to Milan prosecutors. Separately, according to Il Sole 24 Ore, prosecutors will likely unfreeze the company 's impounded stake in Antonveneta, a move that will pave the way for ABN Amro's takeover of Antonveneta.
PHILIPS (PHG) was up €1.01 to €26.30. The company plans to place semiconductors in a separate legal structure in order to implement strategic options for the business. Meanwhile, the company is to explore various M&A options for its Semi unit, Bloomberg reported.
STATOIL was down NOK3.50 to NOK156.5. A Norwegian court of arbitration has upheld a claim by the company 's former CEO Olav Fjell that he is entitled to early retirement pay from the age of 60. Separately, WTI fell.
NORSK HYDRO was down NOK34.00 to NOK700.00. The company revealed that it expects record earnings in 2005 and announced a 2005 dividend in line with 2004 (NOK20/share). The company plans to increase exploration in 2006, participating in 60 wells.
ABERTIS was down €0.33 to €21.30. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services placed the company's AA- long-term corporate credit rating on CreditWatch with negative implications. This followed the French government's announcement that the company had been awarded the preferred bidder status for its offer for French toll road operator Sanef.
NOBEL BIOCARE was down CHF14.50 to CHF283.50. Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock to neutral from buy. Although the broker has spent considerable time over the past six weeks researching Gothenburg University's claims suggesting excessive bone loss of the company 's strongly selling NobelDirect implant, it is unable to form a conclusive opinion on whether the claims will result in the eventual withdrawal of the product.
NOVARTIS (NVS) was down CHF0.85 to CHF67.45. The company said it is going to appeal against an opinion from an EMEA committee recommending against European approval of Zelnorm for women with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation.
COOKSON was up £0.21 to £4.00. The company has agreed to sell its Laminates business to Isola Group for US$91 million.
CABLE & WIRELESS was up £0.03 to £1.21. Telecom Italia has ruled out interest in the company. Previously, rumors had it that the Italian group was pondering a bid for the company
LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE was down £0.01 to £6.21. Broker Numis Securities said the level of the Macquarie offer is surprising and would not expect it to be successful. However, the broker would expect the share price to be supported by the possibility of a Euronext bid, or alternatively an improved offer from Macquarie at a later date.
HEYWOOD WILLIAMS was up £0.04 to £1.06. The company said group profits for the fiscal year will be ahead of current market expectations.
DE VERE was up £0.01 to £7.29. Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock to hold from buy, after speculation regarding a takeover. The broker kept its £7.27 price target. This morning the company confirmed it had received a preliminary approach regarding a possible offer but the approach was rejected as in the unanimous view of the board it did not reflect fully the value and prospects of the company. Furthermore it said it is not currently in discussions with any party with regard to a possible offer.
CARREFOUR was up €0.72 to €39.22. Deutsche Bank added the company to its pan European focus list following yesterday's upgrade from hold to buy. The broker said the new management's aggressive growth strategy is proving successful.
PUBLICIS was down €0.33 to €29.06. Cheuvreux removed the company from its selected list and rated it underperform given that the share price has weak potential. The broker noted that the company confirmed fiscal 2006 targets yesterday but gave no surprises to justify a revision to a target price of € 31.
VINCI was up €2.10 to €73.05. JP Morgan upped its target to €96 from €84 and rated the stock overweight. Citigroup upped its target to €85 from €80. ING raised its target to €83 from €70, highlighting a higher-than-expected debt component in the financing of the ASF acquisition, a delayed capital increase as well as synergy estimates.
EIFFAGE was up €3.05 to €83.95. Soc Gen upped its fair value to €92 from €82. The highway acquisition gives the company defensive qualities coveted by investors, including reduced cyclicality and better visibility on earnings. 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)