Markets & Finance

On the Move: VW, EADS, Philips


Plus: Glaxosmithkline, Telecom Italia, and other European stocks making headlines Friday

UK

MORRISON WM was up £0.08 to £3.16. ABN Amro reiterated its buy rating, saying the numbers on March 15 should confirm the ongoing recovery.

GLAXOSMITHKLINE (GSK) was down £0.13 to £14.36. Goldman Sachs downgraded the company to sell from neutral. It lowered its target price to £14.35 from £14.30. It argued that the company is high-quality, but faces significant challenges this year which could see the recent outperformance unwind.

Germany

LUFTHANSA was up €0.22 to €20.55. February passenger traffic was up 8.5% - with the load factor up 2.3 percentage points to 72.7%. Freight/post rose 3.9%.

VW was up €2.12 to €102.12. It saw at least €5.1 billion in pretax profit in 2008 and reaffirmed that it saw at least a 9% return on investment at its core automotive unit in the medium term.

CONERGY was up €1.23 to €54.70. The company placed almost 3 million new shares, equal to as much as 10% of its share capital, to fund increased production. Proceeds amounted to around €150 million.

France

EADS was down €1.03 to €22.66. Unions could interfere with delivery targets the company said, reportedly. The company targeted 440 to 450 plane deliveries in 2007.

THALES was up €1.17 to €39.54. Fiscal 2006 earnings topped expectations, with operating profit coming in 4.5% higher year-over-year at €755 million. The company is proposing a dividend hike of 5% to €0.87 per share.

Italy

BP ITALIANA was up €0.03 to €11.65. During tomorrow's EGM, observers expect the merger with BPVN to be on the agenda. A local broker noted that for the merger to be approved a 2/3 vote of all shareholders is necessary.

TELECOM ITALIA (TI) was down €0.03 to €2.12. The company at market close, posted its fiscal 2006 results. Revenues came in at €31.275 billion, up 4.5% year-over-year, 2.9% organic growth; EBITDA at €12.850 billion, up 2.7% year-over-year, 0.9% organic growth.

Netherlands

PHILIPS (PHG) was down €0.01 to €27.98. The company announced an exit of 16.2% TSMC stake by selling up to US$1.75 billion worth of TSMC shares. It intends to offer up to US$2.5 billion worth of TSMC shares in the form of American Depositary Shares.

Nordics

AXFOOD was down SEK18.00 to SEK274.00. The shares fell after a 11.06% rise over the last three days amid takeover speculation by Tesco. Shares also traded ex dividend from today.

VOLVO (VOLV) was up SEK5.00 to SEK567.00. Cheuvreux upped its target to SEK670 vs. SEK640, keeps outperform. The broker said it raised its target includes the upcoming SEK50 dividend. Adjusted for this, its target valuation is a PE of 13.2x on 2008 EPS.


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