Markets & Finance

On the Move: BMW, Carrefour, Home Retail


Plus:UBS, Altadis, Heineken and other European companies making headlines Wednesday

From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope

UK

HOME RETAIL was up £0.16 to £4.38. The company said it expects profits on a 52-week pro forma basis to be slightly above the current market consensus, driven principally by Argos.

LEGAL & GENERAL was down £0.06 to £1.47. The company posted fiscal EEV operating profit of £1.233 billion, +13%; UK new business contribution £380 million, +24%.

GLAXOSMITHKLINE was unchanged at £14.23. The company won FDA approval for Tykerb for the treatment of advanced metastatic breast cancer. The drug is used when Herceptin fails.

France

CARREFOUR was up €1.38 to €53.98. The Halley family has asked two investment banks to help sell its 13% stake, Boursier.com reported, citing unidentified bankers. The company said potential buyers included Bernard Arnault.

ARCELOR-MITTAL was down €1.34 to €37.47. The Hindustan Times reported that the company is leading the race to acquire Japan's Mitsui & the company 's 51 percent stake in Indian iron ore exporter Sesa Goa.

Germany

HANOVER RE was down €0.74 to €31.61. The company reported 2006 net profit of €514.4 million - a touch above expectations. The company proposed a dividend payment of €1.60 per share after no pay-out the previous year.

BMW was down €0.60 to €41.20. The company sees 2007 group pretax profit rising - excluding one-off Rolls-Royce gain - and reckons additional burdens from external factors will decline this year. Reminder: the company tabled a pretax profit of €4.12 billion for 2006.

HYPO REAL ESTATE GROUP was down €0.86 to €44.99. Cheuvreux said buy into weakness as the company expects profit to jump this year by another fifth after disclosing a record increase of almost 30% in net profit to €429 million last year.

Italy

AUTOGRILL was down €0.02 to €13.58. Cheuvreux raised its target to €17.00 from €16.00, selected list. The broker noted that after posting good results, the company also issued an aggressive 2007 guidance, targeting 10% sales growth vs. the broker's 7.5% forecast.

AUTOSTRADE was down €0.29 to €22.58. Key shareholder Gilberto Benetton has indicated that Spain's Abertis is exerting pressure for new merger talks, and that for now the company is not ready for the merger.

Netherlands

ARCELOR-MITTAL was down €1.28 to €37.51. The Hindustan Times reported that the company is leading the race to acquire Japan's Mitsui & the company's 51 percent stake in Indian iron ore exporter Sesa Goa.

HEINEKEN was down €0.44 to €36.47. The company is being investigated by Croatian officials for allegedly dumping carbon dioxide waste into local sewage.

Nordics

ERICSSON was down SEK0.15 to SEK24.55. The company said it is set to achieve data speeds of up to 1Mbps in current GSM networks, enabling mobile broadband services through the EDGE Evolution software by 2009.

TELIASONERA was down SEK0.75 to SEK58.00. Spanish Jazztel could be the target of an offer from the company's Spanish unit Yoigo, according to La Gaceta.

Spain

ALTADIS was up €0.17 to €38.37. Citigroup thinks the company would be a good target for private equity given that: 1) it is relatively small and can be broken up easily; and 2) it has the highest free cash flow yield in the sector, at 7.4% fiscal 2007E and 7.8% fiscal 2008E.

Switzerland

UBS (UBS) was down CHF2.10 to CHF68.20. Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin said yesterday that the Securities Division of his office has subpoenaed documents from UBS Securities LLC and Bear Stearns concerning research analysis of sub-prime lenders, as they contained positive reports on sub-prime mortgage lenders.

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