Plus: Shell, Ahold, Fastweb and other European companies making headlines Thursday
From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope
ASTRAZENECA (SE) was up SEK8.50 to SEK396.00. Fiscal 2006 sales came in at US$26.475 billion vs. consensus at US$26.2 billion. Fiscal 2006 pretax profit came in at US$8.543 billion vs. the consensus of US$8.47 billion.
SANDVIK was up SEK1.75 to SEK112.25. The company reported fourth quarter sales of SEK19.370 billion vs. the consensus of SEK18.954 billion; EBIT was SEK3.365 billion vs. the consensus of SEK3.200 billion.
RIO TINTO (RTP) was up £0.30 to £27.45 as fiscal year net profit was up 43%; net earnings were US$7.438 billion, +43%; final DPS US$0.64; total DPS was US$1.04, +30%.
TOTAL (TOT) was up €0.85 to €52.65. Sentiment was positive on Shell's (RDS) fourth quarter.
AXA (AXA) was up €0.66 to €33.00. The company posted fiscal 2006 sales of €78.775 billion, +9.9%. Life & Savings new business fiscal 2006 volume was up 15% to €6.23 billion.
SANOFI-AVENTIS (SNY) was down €0.80 to €66.65. The company's Acomplia may be losing a head start in the race to market a new type of weight-loss drug as Merck and Pfizer push rival products through their labs.
HENKEL was down €6.81 to €112.97. The company's quarterly EBIT rose 7.3% year-over-year to €323 million on sales 3.7% higher at €3.2 billion. The company plans a dividend of €1.50 per preference share and €1.44 per common share.
DEUTSCHE BANK (DB) was up €0.49 to €108.93. The company reported 2006 net income of €6 billion, up 70% year-over-year and better than expected. Fourth quarter 2006 net profit was €1.8 billion, which included a €355 million one-off tax benefit.
EPCOS was down €0.69 to €13.41. The company reported first quarter sales of €334 million and EBIT of €17 million. Both numbers were below expectations.
ROYAL DUTCH SHELL (RDS) was up €0.68 to €26.65. The company increased its first quarter 2007 dividend by 14%, to US$0.36. It said operating synergies and cost savings should add some US$0.5 billion to earnings each year, medium term.
AHOLD was up €0.11 to €7.81. The company announced fourth quarter sales of €10.4 billion, bang in-line with Reuters consensus estimates, but down 2.8% year-over-year as hit by US retail sales.
FASTWEB was up €0.77 to €42.82. The company and Vodafone (VOD) are rumored to announce a new partnership aimed at developing a mobile virtual operator, reported magazine Panorama Economy.
SANTANDER was down €0.19 to €14.40. The company announced fiscal 2006 net att. profit up 22% year-over-year to €7.596 million, ahead of forecasts.