Plus:Repsol, Novartis, Ahold and other European companies making headlines Friday
From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope
BARCLAYS (BCS) was up £0.25 to £7.64. According to the WSJ, a faction within Citigroup is pushing CEO Prince to make a bid for ABN Amro (ABN).
BHP BILLITON (BHP) was up £0.19 to £11.25. The company said it is to spend US$1.85 billion for its share of the project to increase capacity across its Western Australian iron ore operations to 155 milliontpa.
MICHELIN was up €2.94 to €82.03. JP Morgan recommended buying the stock on expectations of strong first quarter revenues on April 24. It noted that shares are down 9% since the results on 15/2/07, underperforming autos by 6% and trucks by 13%.
CARREFOUR was up €0.22 to €55.41.The Halley family may sell its 13% stake in the company, according to Les Echos. Reports have the family instructing HSBC and Lehman Brothers to explore options for selling the stake.
EADS was up €0.57 to €22.76. The company announced a number of agreements with Russia, including a risk-sharing partnership and a major jet order, underlining the country's increasing importance to Europe's largest plane maker, according to the WSJ.
DAIMLERCHRYSLER (DCX) was up €3.63 to €62.00. The were rumors of a buyer for Chrysler but the talk was unsubstantiated. In a connected development, DCX employees are reportedly not allowed to sell their stock ahead of the AGM on 4 April.
VW was up €6.90 to €117.70. Shares were well bid after recent marked short-selling, with market participants keeping up with sector events.
E.ON (EON) was down €0.64 to €100.69. Enel and Acciona are preparing a joint bid for Endesa at €40/share, which will be launched if E.On's bid does not succeed.
DUCATI was up €0.06 to €1.20. Shares traded higher as trading sources highlighted rumors that the company and Piaggio could merge.
TENARIS was up €0.36 to €16.69. Credit Suisse said it is increasingly positive on the company. It added that in spite of the improving outlook over the past couple of months, the tubular stocks have been selling off in the meantime.
DSV was down DKK40.00 to DKK960.00. Fiscal 2006 sales came in at DKK32.0 billion vs. a Reuters poll forecast of DKK32.5 billion, pretax profit came in at DKK1.01 billion vs. DKK1.05 billion forecast.
HENNES & MAURITZ was down SEK1.50 to SEK400.00. The company is set to present a strong first quarter on March 28 according to Newsagency Ticker's survey, Affars Varlden reported.
AHOLD was up €0.28 to €8.50. Dutch FT reported that Sysco, the No.1 foodservice operator in the US, might be interested to buy the company's US Foodservices.
ABN AMRO (ABN) was up €0.76 to €32.50... Citigroup may bid for the company according to the WSJ. The newspaper also suggested that the US banking giant may only bid for the company's US and Brazilian assets.
REPSOL YPF (REP) was up €0.84 to €25.03. Gas Natural could be preparing a €30/sh bid for the company, according to a market source.
LONZA was down CHF0.80 to CHF114.40. The company has an exclusive contract to manufacture Cimzia for UCB, which this morning said it is initiating an additional short-term clinical study for Cimzia in Crohn's disease.
NOVARTIS (NVS) was up CHF0.25 to CHF69.60. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has issued a decision reversing a lower court ruling upholding Pfizer's (PFE) US patent covering the active ingredient Norvasc thereby invalidating the substance patent that was due to expire in September 2007.