Markets & Finance

On the Move: Suez, Repsol YPF, Cairn Energy


From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope

France

SUEZ (SZE) was up ??1.09 to ??32.28. The company and GdF are believed to have identified cost savings of ??1 billion in a merged entity, twice the amount previously announced, wrote the Sunday Times. Also, at the AGM this week shareholders will be asked to vote on a poison pill plan to thwart any takeover.

THOMSON was down ??0.33 to ??16.07. The company confirmed an FT report that it is seeking funding to boost its development in the digital and electronic media sector in 2008.

Germany

BASF (BF) was up ??0.15 to ??68.11.The company extended its offer for Engelhard (EC) to June 5 and is suggesting in total five people for election to the board of directors at Engelhard's AGM on June 2. The company said it will abandon its near US$5 billion bid for the US-based group if it fails to win support after extending the offer by five weeks.

COMMERZBANK was down ??0.46 to ??32.39.The company said quarterly net profit was ??740 million, higher than expected. On the broker front this morning, Credit Suisse upped its target to ??37 from ??27.

Italy

LUXOTTICA was up ??0.36 to ??23.97. The company's CEO, Andrea Guerra, sees the US market growing as it turns to luxury and fashion brands after years of focusing on sports and casual, Reuters reported citing Saturday's Il Corriere della Sera.

B. POP. MILANO was up ??0.15 to ??10.17. SocGen raised its fair value to ??13.44 from ??12 and kept its buy recommendation.

Netherlands

NUMICO was up ??1.61 to ??37.53. The company reported first quarter like-for-like sales up 13.6% to ??633 million; EBITA up 9.2% (like-for-like) to ??118 million, both higher than expected. The EBITA margin came in at 19.2%.

Nordics

SANDVIK was up SEK13.00 to SEK492.00. The company unveiled first quarter pretax profit of SEK2.68 billion (+41.9% year-over-year) on sales of SEK17.48 billion (+23.2%) - both higher than market expectations.

Spain

REPSOL YPF (REP) was down ??0.49 to ??23.19. Bolivia has nationalized its natural gas fields. The decree requires foreign-owned companies to turn over their gas fields to Bolivia immediately and ordered them to sign new operating contracts within 180 days or leave the country. The company is one of the biggest energy investors in Bolivia.

GAMESA was up ??1.06 to ??18.29. The company gained on the back of news that Iberdrola could raise its stake, Bloomberg said, noting that Iberdrola has ruled out a full takeover. Meanwhile Iberdrola has bought US wind power producer Community Energy.

Switzerland

CS GROUP was up CHF0.95 to CHF78.85. The company posted better-than-expected first quarter net income of CHF2.604 billion, up 36% year-over-year. Vontobel noted that the main drivers were Investment Banking (PTP: +68%) and Wealth Management (PTP: +50%).

UK

BAE SYSTEMS was up ??0.03 to ??4.20. The company has issued a put option intention notice regarding its stake in Airbus. Separately, the company has made no decision regarding the termination of its interest in a joint acquisition of Babcock with VT Group and it continues to explore the possibility of an offer as one potential route to achieve a restructuring of the UK maritime sector.

CAIRN ENERGY was up ??0.93 to ??24.19. Merrill Lynch upgraded the company to buy from neutral and set its target price at ??27.50. The broker upgraded its NAV estimate by a net ??1.02 to ??22.28 and put the company back on its European E&P buy list arguing that the risk/reward balance has tipped back in favor of investment ahead of expected strong newsflow on the exploration and development front in the months ahead.

CSR was up ??1.89 to ??13.98. The company posted first quarter pretax profit at US$25.8 million, +137%; revenue US$134.9 million, +103%; oper. profit US$24.3 million, +136%; dil. EPS US$0.138, +134%. It said it should deliver a strong financial performance for 2006 on a buoyant Bluetooth market.


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