Markets & Finance

On the Move: France Telecom, BASF, Novartis


Plus: International Power, Vinci, Fiat, and other European stocks making headlines Tuesday

United Kingdom

XSTRATA was up £0.97 to £24.27. The company posted FY revenue of US$26.877bn, +56%; proforma EBITDA US$10.44bn, +79%; proforma EBIT US$8.340bn, +112%.

INTERNATIONAL POWER was up £0.23 to £3.75. FY profit from ops was up 44%, upbeat on '07. The company unveiled FY profit from ops. Of £773m, +44%.

France

FRANCE TELECOM was up €0.01 to €19.72.The co. reported operating income of €6.988bn, down 33.4% y/y as a result of goodwill and assets impairment, fewer disposals and increased restructuring.

VINCI was up €2.18 to €103.60. Traders noted speculation that Artemis could be building on its 5.1% stake in the Co.

PSA was up €0.51 to €49.61. CEO Christian Streiff plans to cut purchasing costs 'significantly' to help restore profit, Bloomberg reported. The co. will lower its spending on parts, which represent as much as 70% of the value of a car, by sourcing more from countries with low labor costs and by trying to create joint engineering teams with suppliers.

Germany

SALZGITTER was up €4.63 to €95.70. Credit Suisse upgraded the stock to outperform from neutral and upped its target price to €105 from €100. It said the strongest points in the European steel industry are Germany and the Plates sector.

BASF was up €0.76 to €76.83. The company removed all CL131 rice from the marketplace following the discovery that some of the seed has been contaminated by an unidentified GM event.

Nordics

VOLVO was up SEK1.00 to SEK544.00. Ford Motor is committed to keep its Volvo brand even as it spins off another luxury brand, Reuters reported citing the Co.'s CEO.

SKANSKA was up SEK0.75 to SEK146.25. The Co. is in a deal with Danish Ejendomsvaekst to sell retail property in south Sweden for SEK155m. The company will generate a gain of SEK64m, to be reported in 1Q07.

DANSKE BANK was up DKK4.00 to DKK259.50. Goldman Sachs upgraded the company to buy from neutral and added it to its Pan-European buy list. It upped the target to DKK292 from DKK267.

Spain

IBERDROLA was up €0.39 to €32.67. Andalucian businessmen continue to buy stakes in the Co. to strengthen Chairman Galan's hand against ACS, reported ElConfidencial.com.

Italy

FIAT was up €0.60 to €17.37. Goldman raised its target to €22.00 from €17.00 and rated the stock a buy.

Switzerland

NOVARTIS was up CHF2.40 to CHF69.25. The co. announced that Tekturna has received FDA approval for treatment of high blood pressure as a monotherapy or in combination with other high blood pressure medications.

SPEEDEL was up CHF35.60 to CHF190.50. Tekturna has received FDA approval for treatment of high blood pressure as a monotherapy or in combination with other high blood pressure medications.

Netherlands

FORTIS was up €0.50 to €31.80. WestLB upgraded the company to buy from add and maintained a target of €40, ahead of the company's results on Thursday.


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