Markets & Finance

On the Move: Barclays, AstraZeneca, Capitalia


Plus:Novartis, Danone, Fiat and other European companies making headlines Monday

From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope

United Kingdom

BARCLAYS (BCS) was down £0.17 to £7.33. Analysts noted that the RBS, Fortis, Santander consortium will make a higher bid than that of the company, which offered €36.25/sh for ABN Amro (ABN). Under the agreement between the company and ABN Amro, the company will own approximately 52% in the new entity. ABN said it will sell LaSalle Bank for US$21 billion to Bank of America (BAC). €12 billion will be returned to shareholders.

ROYAL BANK of SCOTLAND was up £0.03 to £20.30. The company, Fortis, and Santander said they will not be meeting with ABN Amro (ABN) Monday, following the offer by Barclays for the Dutch bank and the decision to sell LaSalle to Bank of America (BAC).

France

SOC GEN was down €4.74 to €151.35... WestLB downgraded the company to hold from add. The broker noted that the company denied that it was engaged in merger talks with UniCredit. As the fundamental upside has materialized in the last week, the broker downgraded and advised investors to take some profits.

DANONE (DA) was up €1.34 to €124.19. Ahead of first quarter sales, Cheuvreux forecasted strong full sales of €3.7 billion, up 4.1% year-over-year, assuming like-for-like sales growth remained strong at 10.1%.

Germany

DEUTSCHE TELEKOM (DT) was down €0.13 to €13.26. The company lost 600,000 fixed-line customers in the first quarter of 2007, but said improving sales of high-speed Internet access will help it meet its profit targets.

BMW was up €1.12 to €44.71. JP Morgan called an inflexion point as it upgraded the company's stock to overweight from neutral, lifting the target to €60 from €45.

Nordics

METRO INTERNATIONAL was down SEK1.55 to SEK7.95. First quarter net sales increased by 10% to US$102.5 million, while in real terms excluding divested operations first quarter sales growth was 5.5%.

NOKIAN RENKAAT was up €1.47 to €22.82. The company said it expects first quarter sales of €200 million vs. the previous consensus of €179 million and EBIT €39 million vs. the previous consensus of €21 million. However it kept fiscal 2007 guidance.

ASTRAZENECA (AZN) was down SEK17.00 to SEK384.00. The company posted first quarter pretax profit of US$2.267 billion, up 11%, on sales of US$6.966 billion, up 13%. EPS came in at US$1.02, up 13%.

Spain

IBERDROLA was down €1.07 to €37.36. Dresdner upgraded the company to add from hold and lifted its target to €37.50 from €33.50. The company said building and supportive M&A news should make the stock trade consistently above fundamentals during 2007.

Italy

FIAT (FIA) was up €0.31 to €20.79. The company posted its first quarter results. Net revenue came in at €13.676 billion, up 8.9% year-over-year; operating income was at €595 million, up 84% year-over-year.

CAPITALIA was up €0.07 to €6.97. Barclays has made an offer for ABN Amro (ABN) at €36.25 per share. Barclays said Italy is key for the future with ABN Amro, which holds a majority stake in the company. Following Barclays bid, analysts noted that the RBS, Fortis, Santander consortium will make a higher offer.

Switzerland

NOVARTIS (NVS) was up CHF0.25 to CHF69.80. The company posted a better-than-expected 11% rise in quarterly net profit to US$2.17 billion on sales 18% higher year-over-year at US$9.82 billion. The company repeated its outlook for 2007 of net sales growth of above 5% in local currencies.

NESTLE was up CHF6.75 to CHF488.50. The company reported first quarter organic sales growth of 7.4%, higher than expected, with quarterly sales coming in at CHF24.3 billion, at the top end of the forecast range.

Netherlands

REED ELSEVIER NV was up €0.12 to €13.72. Private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Carlyle Group have joined the race for the text book publishing unit of Canada's Thomson Corp., the Times reported.

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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