Markets & Finance

On the Move: E.On, Sanofi, Vodafone


Plus:OMX, Santander, Richemont and other European companies making headlines Tuesday

From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope

United Kingdom

VODAFONE (VOD) was up £0.06 to £1.58. Shares gained after the company unveiled total DPS of 6.76p, up 11.4%, ahead of broker forecasts. Seymour Pierce said the DPS payout gives annualized dividend growth of 11.4%.

BRITISH AIRWAYS (BAB) was up £0.18 to £4.79. Goldman Sachs temporarily suspended the investment rating and price target for the company. Note: last week the investment bank raised its stake in the airline to 5.1% from an earlier below 3% stake. Goldman is advising Iberia on possible takeover bids.

France

RENAULT was up €2.95 to €107.17. The company and PSA are moving ever more of their production overseas, reported Les Echos. It said the two domestic car giants have built 599,000 cars in the first quarter of 2007 within France, a fall of 9.3% year-over-year.

SANOFI-AVENTIS (SNY) was down €0.71 to €70.21. Switzerland's Ypsomed posted FY consolidated sales of CHF277.5 million (-10.7% prior year) with net profits of CHF2.7 million. Vontobel said the company's lower insulin pen orders were due to lower orders from the company stemming from slowing growth of the company's long-acting insulin Lantus and a slow sales start of short-acting insulin Apidra, as well as the company's strategy to launch its own disposable pen, SoloStar.

Germany

SOLARWORLD was up €2.59 to €63.28. There was talk that Acciona is considering buying the company - noted Spanish website Negocio.

E.ON (EON) was down €1.04 to €114.89. The company probably won't hand out an extraordinary dividend as it seeks to expand into new markets, Euro am Sonntag reported, citing Vice Chairman Hubertus Schmoldt.

Italy

GEMINA was up €0.16 to €3.39. Gemina has denied reports that it could agree to be taken over by Macquarie Airports Management, wrote Bloomberg.

Netherlands

ABN AMRO (ABN) was down €0.18 to €35.92. The RBS-consortium proposed a new shared offer for the company. Fortis will pay €24 billion, RBS Group will pay €27.2 billion and Santander €19.9 billion. The banks see cost savings of €4.23 billion. The proposed offer is conditional on the result of the company's shareholder vote on the sale of LaSalle. The offer values the company at €38.40 per share.

Nordics

NORSK HYDRO was up NOK0.50 to NOK212.00. The company may bid US$30 billion or more for Montreal-based Alcan, according to press reports. Other mining giants, including BHP Billiton (BHP), are also reportedly contemplating offers competing with Alcoa's (AA) hostile bid.

OMX was down SEK4.00 to SEK212.00. Local press speculated on the possibility of a forthcoming bidding war, naming the LSE and the Dubai Stock Exchange. On Friday the company agreed a US$3.7 billion combined cash and share offer by US-based Nasdaq.

Spain

SANTANDER was up €0.07 to €13.82 on the bid for ABN.

Switzerland

RICHEMONT was up CHF0.85 to CHF74.15. Kepler raised its price target to CHF90 from CHF75, reiterating buy. It sees continued improvements in terms of margins and working capital improvements amid the mechanization of low-end jewelry production and turnaround in the leather business, on top of a new distribution and integrated IT platform.

SWATCH GROUP was up CHF4.00 to CHF344.00. Shares ticked up on watch export data showing an 11.7% increase year-over-year for April.

Claudia Perotti, Sara Oscarsson, Isabell Witt, Michael Sanderson, Gaurav Panchal, Julien Manrique, John West, Ben Marino, Emma Stevenson, Pawan Girglani, Mohammed El Sadek.

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