Markets & Finance

On the Move: BMW, Carrefour, Royal & Sun Alliance


Plus:Lonza, Fortis, BBVA and other European companies making headlines Thursday

From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope

United Kingdom

ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE was up £0.03 to £1.64. The company reported fiscal operating profit of £780 million, +5% - ahead of analyst estimates. Numis said the results were marginally ahead of the consensus, with the operating result ahead of the expected £770 million, and expects the increased DPS and positive outlook to be taken positively by the market.

DRAX was unchanged at £7.28. The company reported fiscal EBITDA of £583 million, +144%; final DPS 9.1p, second special DPS 32.9p, total DPS 134.7p. It announced investments of up to £67 million to increase capability to produce 10% of output from renewable fuels by 2009, in addition to the £100 million turbine enhancement project. It expects the investments together to save over 3 million tons of CO2 emissions a year, equaling the output of around 700 wind turbines.

France

SUEZ (SZE) was up €0.68 to €37.51. The company reported 2006 net profit of €3.606 million, higher than expected, with EBITDA of €7.100 billion at the top end of expectations.

CARREFOUR was down €1.08 to €51.72. The company posted fiscal 2006 sales incl. VAT of €87.422 billion, +6.3% excl. currency; fiscal 2006 net. profit from recurring operations of €1.86 billion; fiscal 2006 net income group share of €2.268 billion, +58%.

PERNOD RICARD was down €7.22 to €149.40. Reporting first half 2006/2007 results, the company posted operating profit of €886 million, up 20% year-over-year, but below consensus expectations of €922 million.

Germany

BMW was up €1.14 to €43.64. The company reported 2006 group pretax profit of $euro;4.124 billion, in line with expectations. Group net earnings last year were €2.874 billion. The company proposed a dividend payment of €0.70 per ordinary share. The company said it will again ask for authorization to buy back up to 10% of its share capital.

SALZGITTER was up €3.97 to €102.37... 2006 pretax profit tops expectations / Stake buy in focus - the company is taking a 78% stake in Kloeckner Werke. No financial details provided. Earnings-wise, the company tabled 2006 revenues of €8.45 billion and pretax profit of €1.85 billion. pretax profit before one-offs was €947.9 million, comfortably ahead of expectations. the company sees 2007 steel prices above 2006 levels.

SGL CARBON was up €0.63 to €20.83... 2006 earnings top expectations - the company reported 2006 sales of €1.19 billion, EBIT of €170 million and net profit of €40.7 million. It points to raising it mid-term goals as it expresses confidence to be able to increase both sales and earnings this year.

Nordics

ELEKTA was down SEK13.50 to SEK137.50. The company will report nine months sales at SEK3.082 billion, operating profit at SEK246 million and order bookings at SEK3.539 billion. The company guided for 2006-07 growth of 10% vs. 10-15% previously.

LUNDBECK was up DKK3.00 to DKK163.50. S&P Equity Research upgraded the company to hold vs. sell and raised its target to DKK163 vs. DKK133. Following the release of the fourth quarter results yesterday, the firm said the key feature of the outlook is the improvements in the company's pipeline profile.

Spain

BBVA was up €0.44 to €18.19. Cheuvreux upped its target to €22.70 from €22.20, selected list.

SACYR-VALLEHERMOSO was up €1.17 to €41.24. The company's shares rose with traders commenting that it is a very volatile stock and was one of the worst hit in the recent sell-off.

Italy

BP ITALIANA was up €0.33 to €11.56. Shares traded higher as the company's possible merger with BPVN will be put to the vote at the upcoming EGM. A local influential broker is confident that the merger will be approved.

Switzerland

LONZA was up CHF3.30 to CHF113.40. Morgan Stanley upgraded the company to equal weight from underweight and lifted its price target to CHF113 from CHF62. It thinks the company's transformation into a life sciences company gives it secure, high-margin growth to 2012.

Netherlands

AEGON was up €0.49 to €15.01. The company reported full year operating earnings before tax of €2.83 billion, higher than the expected €2.76 billion.

FORTIS was up €0.23 to €32.33. The company reported fourth quarter net profit before divestments of €749 million vs. €461 million the year before, but lower than the €763.6 million expected.

Claudia Perotti, Lydia Carroll, Sara Oscarsson, Isabell Witt, Michael Sanderson, Gaurav Panchal, Julien Manrique, John West, Ben Marino, Emma Stevenson, Pawan Girglani.

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