Plus: Telefonica, ABB, Bayer and other European companies making headlines Thursday
From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope
LEGAL & GENERAL was unchanged at £0.00 to £1.57. The company posted first quarter 2007 UK new life and pensions (APE) £303 million, +27%; global new business was £413 million, +6%.
VODAFONE (VOD) was up £0.01 to £1.43. It may end up paying more for Hutchison Essar - wrote the FT.
FRANCE TELECOM (FTE) was up €0.67 to €21.63. Reporting first quarter numbers, the company posted revenues of €12.844 billion, up 1.8% year-over-year, and a gross operating margin of €4.657 billion, up 1.5% year-over-year (and up 2% on a comparable basis).
SODEXHO was up €2.64 to €57.99. The company posted first half net profit of €198 million; +24%; first half operating profit of €364 million, +20% ex currencies. It raised fiscal 2006-07 operating profit guidance to 12% from 10%.
BASF (BF) was down €1.74 to €88.47. The company's first quarter pre-exceptionals operating profit came in 13.5% higher year-over-year at €2.12 billion on quarterly sales at €14.6 billion.
BAYER (BAY) was up €0.59 to €51.38. First quarter results topped estimates (broker comment) - with quarterly sales coming in at €8.3 billion, up 23% year-over-year, and net profit at €2.8 billion.
SIEMENS (SI) was up €1.17 to €89.53. The company is setting higher profitability targets for most of its groups to reach by 2010. This came a day after CEO Klaus Kleinfeld said he will resign before the end of the summer because of the corporate corruption scandal.
STORA ENSO was up €5.00 to €122.50. First quarter net sales came in at €3.86 billion vs. the Reuters consensus at €3.73 billion, pretax profit minus one-offs came in at €275 million vs. €206 million forecast and EPS minus one-offs at EPS at 0.26 vs. €0.18 forecast.
TELEFONICA (TEF) was up €0.06 to €16.81. The FT wrote that a consortium of Italian banks has made fresh approaches to France Telecom and the company over the possible acquisition of Pirelli's stake in Olimpia, the holding company that controls a majority stake in Telecom Italia (TI).
IBERDROLA was up €0.06 to €36.79. The company delivered first quarter net profit of €458 million, up 13.6%, ahead of the consensus of €448.7 million.
GENERALI was down €0.02 to €33.63. The company Thursday holds a board meeting. The Italian press has reported that on the agenda are investments in the Czech Republic, in particular the acquisition of Czech insurer Ceska Pojistovna.
ABB LTD (ABB) was up CHF1.15 to CHF24.30. First quarter net earnings more than doubled, exceeding expectations by a wide margin, to US$537 million. Quarterly orders also came in ahead of the consensus forecast, at US$8.64 billion.
ABN AMRO (ABN) was up €0.09 to €36.30. The company said it will provide Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Fortis with the same information that was previously shared with Barclays (BCS).