Markets & Finance

On the Move: LSE, Bouygues, Roche


From Standard & Poor's Investment Services

Germany

DEUTSCHE BOERSE was up ??3.68 to ??114.50. Nasdaq has bought almost 15% of the LSE for ??447.5 million, or ??11.75 per share, raising speculation that it may revive a takeover bid.

DAIMLERCHRYSLER (DCX) was down ??0.38 to ??46.94. The company will reportedly keep at least a 15% stake in EADS. Also the company reiterated that it expects improved profitability this year and that it sees a continuation of increasing operating profit in the years to follow.

France

BOUYGUES was down ??0.23 to ??41.67. The company has sent a document to Brussels outlining its insufficient revenues, its lack of critical size, and its too low market share to guarantee its existence long-term, in an attempt to obtain exemption from all regulation, wrote Les Echos.

EURONEXT was up ??1.60 to ??67.80 on the news of Nasdaq taking a stake in LSE.

Italy

UNICREDIT was up ??0.02 to ??5.85. Austria's bank Raiffeisen International is interested in buying part of the company's BPH, Reuters reported citing a Polish newspaper. Separately, Citigroup highlighted that the company has struck a deal with the Polish government that will allow the merger between Pekao and BPH to go ahead.

Netherlands

KPN (KPN) was up ??0.11 to ??9.63. The company's shareholders voted yesterday against a defense mechanism against hostile takeovers. Also it cancelled the golden share that the Dutch government owned, leaving the company vulnerable to any hostile bid.

Nordics

ASTRAZENECA (AZN) was up SEK2.50 to SEK393.50. Deutsche Bank upped its target to US$57.5 from US$56.5, citing positive earnings momentum from Nexium, Crestor and Toprol XL. It thinks additional near-term upside is likely to result from further delays to the launch of Toprol XL generics.

Spain

BANKINTER was down ??2.20 to ??52.90. Deutsche downgraded the company to sell from hold with a ??42 target price. It said the company is trading at a premium to its peers, having been one of the best performers fuelled by widespread media speculation of being a takeover candidate.

Switzerland

ROCHE was down CHF3.20 to CHF187.20. The company and Genentech (DNA) have filed Avastin with US regulators to treat the most common form lung cancer. Separately, shares of Genentech fell almost 2% after-hours as it reported sales of Rituxan, used to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, fell q/q.

UK

GUS was down ??0.32 to ??10.13. The company said Argos total sales were up 9% in the second half and like-for-like sales were in line with last year. Sales at Homebase in the five months to February 28 fell by 1% in total and like-for-like sales deteriorated, leading to a 5% decline.

WH SMITH was up ??0.24 to ??4.31. The company beat analyst forecasts marginally. It said first half pretax profit before exceptional items was up 4% to ??71 million, reported pretax profit at ??76 million; total like-for-like sales down 3% to ??1.3 billion reflecting the continued tough trading.

LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE was up ??1.56 to ??11.94. Tuesday after the market close, Nasdaq announced that it had bought a 14.99% stake in the company from Threadneedle Asset Management. Nasdaq said it paid ??11.75/share for the stake, representing a total of ??447.7 million. The FT wrote that LSE is now expected to agree to talks with Nasdaq regarding a possible bid. Nasdaq dropped a bid for LSE at ??9.50/share last month after being rebuffed by the exchange.


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