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Plus: Iberia, ABN Amro, Shell and other European companies making headlines Thursday
From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope
UNILEVER (UN) was up £0.58 to £16.14. Panmure upped its target to £14.75 from £13.20, following a strong first quarter.
ICI was up £0.07 to £5.32. The company posted first quarter adjusted pretax profit of £101 million, +12%; trading profit for continuing operations +14%; sales for continuing operations +6%; adjusted EPS +15%.
BAT (BTI) was up £0.03 to £15.96. The company unveiled first quarter profit from operations £684 million, +11%; revenue £2.232 billion, -3%; adjusted dil EPS 24.31p, +10% - vs. expected 23.0p.
LAFARGE (LR) was up €2.96 to €124.47. WestLB upgraded the company following a stellar first quarter. The company comfortably exceeded expectations with first quarter results this morning, posting sales of €3.695 billion, up 6% year-over-year (with organic sales growth of 11%).
SANOFI-AVENTIS (SNY) was down €0.68 to €67.68. First quarter net earnings slid 2.6% to €2.117 billion, better than expected.
BMW was up €0.48 to €46.43. First quarter group pretax profit slid 34% to €852 million - a tad lower than expected - on quarterly revenues of €11.95 billion.
MAN was down €1.47 to €99.74. The company posted a first quarter operating profit of €318 million, ahead of expectations, on quarterly revenues of €3.3 billion.
METRO AG was up €1.63 to €58.75. The company reported first quarter sales of €14.9 billion, up 12.1% year-over-year and within expectations. Quarterly EBIT also met forecasts, coming in at €123 million, an 11% year-over-year fall.
TENARIS was up €0.04 to €17.06. The company's shares traded higher after Sweden's SSAB said it will buy Canadian Ipsco, in a deal valued at US$7.7 billion or US$160 per share.
ROYAL DUTCH SHELL (RDS) was up €0.49 to €26.39. The company reported first quarter CCS earnings of US$6.9 billion, higher than the expected US$5.8 billion. Earnings included a non-op gain of US$371 million.
ABN AMRO (ABN) was up €0.68 to €36.60. The company's sale of US unit LaSalle to Bank of America (BAC) is reportedly to be decided in court Thursday.
NORDEA was down SEK1.30 to SEK114.40. First quarter total revenues came in at €1.873 billion, in line with forecasts, first quarter commission income amounted to €535 million vs. €544 million forecast, first quarter costs came in at €992 million vs. €971 million forecast, first quarter pretax profit came in at €895 million vs. €893 million forecast.
BOLIDEN was down SEK19.75 to SEK148.75. First quarter revenues came in at SEK8.46 billion vs. the consensus forecast at SEK8.76 billion, EBIT was at SEK1.286 billion vs. SEK2.052 billion forecast, corresponding to a margin of 15.3% vs. 23.4% forecast, pretax profit was SEK1.26 billion vs. SEK2.11 billion forecast.
ORKLA was up NOK3.30 to NOK99.80. First quarter sales came in at NOK13.900 billion vs. NOK13.186 billion forecast, EBIT at NOK2.840 billion vs. NOK1.236 billion forecast, adjusted margin at 14.4% vs. 9.4% forecast.
IBERIA was down €0.06 to €3.80. High speed trains are set to run every 15 minutes at peak times between Madrid and Barcelona, according to El Pais. The paper said an average of 8,000 passengers will be transported per day, many of whom will choose the train rather than a flight.
GAS NATURAL was down €0.35 to €38.38. The company's shares gained strongly Wednesday amid news that Espirito Santo bought a 2.7% stake on Monday, at an average price of €44/share.
UBS (UBS) was down CHF2.05 to CHF76.50. The company reports first quarter net profit shy of expectations - coming in at CHF3.275 billion. Total net new money was at CHF52.8 billion, with CHF44.8 billion inflow from wealth management businesses worldwide.