Plus:Adecco, Iberia, Electrolux and other European companies making headlines Wednesday
From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope
WOLSELEY was up £0.68 to £13.80. Private equity giant Cinven is considering a £10 billion-plus bid for the company, the building materials group, according to City AM newspaper.
LIBERTY INTL was up £0.13 to £13.03. The company posted fiscal year net rental income of £341 million, +13%; pretax profit before valuation & exceptionals £155 million, +28%; pretax profit £903 million, +71%; adj EPS 33.9p, +14%; DPS 31.0p, +10%.
VODAFONE (VOD) was down £0.01 to £1.49. Lehman lifted its target to £1.73 from £1.70 and kept its overweight rating. It said that following a confident management presentation of its Indian deal, it is reiterating the company as its top sector pick.
TOTAL (TOT) was up €0.95 to €53.45. The company reported fourth quarter 2006 net income down 10%. Fiscal 2006 adjusted net income of €12.6 billion was +5% and fiscal 2006 net income of €11.8 billion was -4%.
SOC GEN was down €4.00 to €135.60. The company posted lower-than-expected fourth quarter net profit of €1.18 billion, with costs and bad-loan provisions exceeding forecasts.
ARCELOR-MITTAL was up €1.29 to €37.57. The company announced an average price increase of 5% on its flat carbon products for general industry sales in Europe.
DAIMLERCHRYSLER (DCX) was up €1.76 to €51.00. A consensus view put 2006 revenues at €152.65 billion and operating profit at €5.06 billion. Reminder: the company's guidance for the latter was €5 billion.
COMMERZBANK was up €0.28 to €32.13. The company posted 2006 pretax profit of €2.38 billion, in line with expectations, with net profit a touch lower than expected at €1.62 billion, but still a record.
HOCHTIEF was up €2.37 to €68.68. Leighton topped forecasts with first half profit that jumped 61%. The Australian engineering contractor, whose biggest shareholder is the company, lifted its full-year forecasts.
MEDIOLANUM was up €0.09 to €6.70. The company's CEO and founder, Ennio Doris, has said he does not exclude any possible future aggregations. Reuters reported that Doris refused to comment on the rumors pointing to a possible aggregation with Generali.
FASTWEB was up €0.15 to €42.87. Italian investment banks are studying the opportunity of prompting a merger between the company and Tiscali to create a large Italian-owned telecommunications group, according to Il Sole 24 Ore.
TOMTOM was up €1.49 to €32.12. US competitor Garmin posted record fourth quarter revenues over US$611 million. Garmin's EPS increased over 100% to US$0.82. Traders also noted that HTC uses the company's Navigator 6 software in one of its mobile phones, apparently a hot gadget in the blogosphere.
DSM was down €3.27 to €35.23. The company announced lower-than-expected quarterly total net sales of €2.076 billion vs. an expected €2.151 billion.
ELECTROLUX was up SEK30.50 to SEK170.00. Fiscal 2006 sales came in at SEK103.85 billion vs. the SEK103.70 forecast; net income came in at SEK2.65 billion vs. the SEK2.17 billion forecast.
ORKLA was up NOK13.50 to NOK429.50. Fourth quarter sales came in at NOK14.600 billion vs. the NOK13.479 forecast; fourth quarter EBIT came in at NO1.210 billion vs. NOK1.438 forecast; pretax profit came in at NOK2.965 billion vs. NOK1.795 forecast and EPS came in at NOK12.40 vs. NOK9.20 forecast.
IBERIA was up €0.07 to €3.32. The company said January passenger traffic (RPK) rose 10.5% year-over-year while the load factor was 77.6% vs. 73.2% year-over-year.
ZURICH FINANCIAL was up CHF0.25 to CHF347.25. A leading personal lines insurer, with approx. US$230 million of gross written premiums in 2006. On claims from storm Kyrill, the company said that they will not exceed US$150 million before tax.
ADECCO was up CHF1.65 to CHF83.65. In DB's view, three key drivers of future share price performance will be: 1) The Fed/Market stance on US interest rates, 2) Movement in French gross margins and 3) Potential releveraging of balance sheets through acquisitions or buy-backs.