Markets & Finance

On the Move: Vodafone, BNP Paribas, Gamesa


Plus: Casino, VW, Telelogic, and other European stocks making headlines Monday

UK

VODAFONE (VOD) was down £0.02 to £1.61. Lehman Brothers suggests to go long on the company due to attractive valuation, earnings momentum and its Telecom team's fundamental view that the stock should benefit from fixed to mobile substitution and cost incentives. Argues that with earnings momentum turning positive combined with an upgrade to 2008 DPS of 7%, believes the stock will outperform the market. HSBC lifts target to £2.00 from £1.70; keeps overweight. The company says change reflects further evidence of voice elasticity, data acceleration and emerging market growth. Thinks the market is still crucially underestimating voice elasticity.

SEGRO PLC was up £0.08 to £7.17. The company says is selling Slough Estates USA, its life sciences real estate business, to Health Care Property Investors for £1.5 billion. Adds that after deduction of debt, anticipated taxation and costs, the net cash proceeds will be £574 million. Plans to return £250 million (about £0.53/sh) to shareholders via a special dividend and remaining proceeds of £324 million will be used to reduce debt.

France

CASINO was up €3.50 to €82.60. The company's shares jump as it is hosting a roadshow in London today. Shares in Rallye, which holds 47% in the company , also rise - currently trading up 5.41%. However, rumors of a merger between the company and Rallye have reportedly been scotched by a Rallye spokesperson. Further market speculation that a major financier, possibly Albert Frere, may be about to take a stake in the company has not led to greater enlightenment.

BNP-PARIBAS (BNP) was down €1.06 to €90.42. JP Morgan downgrades to neutral from overweight, keeping its €93 target - implying just 2% upside. Notes stock has climbed 15% since March 2007, outperforming EU banks by 6%. In other news, the company and Taiwan Cooperative Bank agreed to buy Sunrise Asset management for US$9.63 million.

Germany

HEIDELDRUECK was up €2.13 to €38.86. According to a trader, shares are up on speculation of due diligence from KKR.

VW was up €1.25 to €115.20. The company 's US car sales were up 1% in May to 22,325 vehicles. Other key news in the sector is that Porsche now owns 30.97% of the company and can buy a further 20% of the stock without having to disclose the action to the market.

AIR BERLIN was down €1.09 to €16.31. ABN Amro downgrades to hold from buy - cutting the target to €18 from €25.

Italy

BPVN was down €0.11 to €21.66. There are rumors coming from the domestic market that the company may sack CEO Fabio Innocenzi. The speculation is said to be tied to the fact that Innocenzi gave his backing Massimo Faenza, CEO of Banca Italease.

BANCA ITALEASE was down €2.50 to €24.78. Deutsche Bank cuts target to €37 from €57; buy. Notes low credibility has triggered recent huge share price drop: keeps buy as even in the worst-case scenario sees 20%+ upside potential. the company 's board is due to meet on 7 June. Board will discuss IRS exposure and related provisions. There is speculation that the company 's CEO Massimo Faenza could step down.

Netherlands

SNS REAAL was up €0.75 to €17.75. The company will buy AXA's (AXA) Dutch operations for €1.75 billion. The company says to finance the action with €350 million equity, for which it intends to launch an equity offering of €200 million of new ordinary shares and an over-allotment option of €50 million. KBC notes the transaction will nearly double the company 's overall Dutch insurance market share to about 9.2%, improve significantly its distribution power, and provide substantial scope to increase operational efficiency/economies of scale.

Nordic

TELELOGIC was up SEK2.30 to SEK20.50. The company announces it has received a conditional takeover bid for all the issued and outstanding shares in the company at SEK21 per share in cash. the company does not stake who the bidder is.

SECURITAS was up SEK7.75 to SEK111.00. Market rumors suggest Christer Gradell's activist fund Cevian Capital is building a stake in the company , according to e24.se. Meanwhile, Goldman cuts target to SEK92 from SEK95, reiterates sell recommendation. Goldman Sachs is concerned due to the impact on the company from the US industrial clients where price pressure is likely, dependence on the Spanish construction boom and weaker performance in the UK Loomis business.

LUNDIN OIL was down SEK0.50 to SEK63.75. Rosnedr, the Russian Licensing Agency recommends the ministry of Natural Resources to revoke its Lagansky license. the company contests the proposal. Cheuvreux holds a 70%/30% view against the company and lowers target to SEK80 vs SEK99. The company says buy on weakness. S&P Eq. Res. initiates coverage with a strong sell recommendation and sets target at SEK52.

Spain

GAMESA was up €0.53 to €28.20. Deutsche Bank raises target to €34 from €31, buy. The broker is upbeat on new regulation and sees positive prospects for renewables.

FCC was down €2.00 to €71.10. Realia, the joint venture between the company and Caja Madrid, will fix the final price of its IPO today, reports Expansion. The company says Realia this weekend reassured the market that the institutional offering has been covered, but notes that at this stage in most other new listings, the offer has been oversubscribed. The company says foreign investors have concerns about the Spanish real estate sector.

Switzerland

CLARIANT was up CHF0.20 to CHF21.40. CASH daily notes rumors that Lanxess is to bid between CHF24 and CHF26 per share in the coming days. Notes the rumor is not new but the price range is higher than that rumored before.

SYNGENTA was down CHF2.20 to CHF229.80. SWX opens investigation into management transactions.


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