Plus: Heineken, Union Fenosa, BP Milano and other European companies making headlines Thursday
From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope
REED ELSEVIER was up £0.39 to £6.44. The company posted revenues of £5.398 billion (+4%) vs. an expected £5.433 billion. Adjusted pretax profit was £1.21 billion (+5%) vs. an expected £1.065 billion.
WOLSELEY was down £0.33 to £13.74. Merrill Lynch cut the stock to neutral from buy, but kept its £14.20 target.
BNP-PARIBAS was down €3.10 to €83.90. The company's fourth quarter net earnings rose 29% to €1.72 billion - ahead of expectations. Supporting the bottom line was the company's takeover of Italy's BNL last year. However, operating profit after provisions was up only 36% (excluding BNL restructuring charges) to € 2.26 billion.
DANONE (DA) was up €5.50 to €125.70. The company's fiscal 2006 results come in broadly in line with expectations. Fiscal 2006 sales came in at € 14.073 billion and were up 9.7% on an underlying basis - above a forecast range of 8-9.1%.
LVMH was up €3.55 to €86.40. The company's 2006 net profit topped expectations rising 30% year-over-year to €1.88 billion. Operating earnings were €3.17 billion, up from €2.74 billion last time.
DAIMLERCHRYSLER (DCX) was up €2.75 to €54.25. The company is in talks with General Motors (GM) to sell Chrysler, according to Manager Magazine.
METRO AG was down €0.07 to €54.08. The company's sales rose 24% in China last year. This compares to its global average growth of 7.5%.
MEDIGENE was up €0.28 to €6.58. The company is to increase share capital to €30.84 million from €28.78 million to fund current R&D projects.
BP MILANO was up €0.20 to €12.90. The company and Popolare Emilia Romagna are engaged in 'closed door talks' over a possible merger, reported Il Sole 24 Ore quoting a source close to the deal.
DANIELI was up €0.39 to €16.37. Credit Suisse upgraded the European steel sector to market weight again after a brief but overly cautious underweight stance earlier this year, it said.
HEINEKEN was up €0.92 to €40.27. Shares rose on market talk that Inbev and Anheuser Busch are in merger talks, traders noted.
HENNES & MAURITZ was up SEK10.00 to SEK379.50. The company said January sales rose 16% year-over-year, ahead of forecasts. like-for-like sales rose 5%.
TELENOR was down NOK11.75 to NOK120.75. The company reported a 25% rise in fourth quarter core earnings to NOK8.19 billion, but below expectations at NOK8.84 billion.
UNION FENOSA was down €1.04 to €40.16. A shareholder (though to be Martinsa) has sold a 2.37% stake (7.23 million shares) through Morgan Stanley. The shares were sold at an average price of €39.90.