Plus: Premier Foods, VW, Numico, and other European stocks in the news Monday
TAYLOR NELSON was up £0.03 to £2.45... Panmure ups target to £3 from £2.80, keeps buy. The company says 'over 5%' like-for-like revenue growth is ahead of expectations, even against a weak first half06. Adds that there is scope to raise estimates, confidence in US/UK turnaround underpinned. Remains broker's core pick within UK media. The company says underlying revenue growth for first half 2007 is expected to be over 5% and has seen good performance across rest of group. Is confident in its outlook for the year and expects to achieve improvement in both underlying revenue growth and adjusted operating margin in 2007.
PREMIER FOODS was down £0.14 to £2.80... Confident of meeting FY targets - The company says is confident of meeting FY expectations. Adds that strong trading in May and June is offsetting the effects of the hot April weather.
BOVIS HOMES was down £1.00 to £8.21... Sees in line first half pretax profit growth, op profit - The company says has generated good pretax profit growth in line with internal expectations, against a backdrop of increasing interest rates over first half07. Adds that legally completed 1,256 homes during first half07 vs 1,262 in first half06 and average sales price achieved was in line with the previous half year at around £189,000. Anticipates that operating margin will be broadly in line with that produced in first half06, after adjusting out the one-off pension credit taken in first half06.
ARCELOR-MITTAL (MT) was up €1.31 to €48.97... Deutsche Bank upgrades to outperform and lifts target to €50 from €45. Broker says that underlying demand growth is now accelerating due to increasing infrastructure investments, high manufacturing activity and production capacity expansion. Adds that European demand is strong and operating rates are expected to remain high enabling producers to maintain margins and increase profitability.
THYSSEN KRUPP was up €0.73 to €46.14... Goldman upgrades, Deutsche ups target - Goldman Sachs upgrades to buy from neutral and increases price target to €52 from €49. Thinks strong expected earnings in third quarter and a robust outlook are likely to drive earnings upgrades for the company Deutsche Bank ups target to €54 from €45, keeps buy rating. The company says steel price increases lifts its earnings outlook and expects demand to exceed supply growth in the medium term.
INFINEON was up €0.07 to €12.92... Talk of €18.5/sh bid from Hynix - Traders note unsubstantiated rumors of a €18.5/share bid from Hynix Semiconductor.
VW was up €0.38 to €124.12... Commerzbank upgrades to hold from sell and increases price target to €120 from €102. The company says indications from management at the analyst product were particularly positive. The broker now thinks that news flow is more likely to remain supportive (second quarter results and IAA product announcements in September) and that the negative impacts from declining earnings momentum will materialize later than previously thought. In a separate update, the company wants to build a new US factory if the dollar stays week, according to Focus.
DEPFA was up €0.91 to €14.30... Rumour of €20.10 Dexia bid - Traders say there are unsubstantiated rumors of Dexia possibly bidding €20.10 per share for the company
ENI (E) was up €0.60 to €28.33... Deal to build bio-fuel refineries in Brazil - The demand of veggie fuel, such as biodiesel or bioethanol, is in constant growth. the company has signed a deal with the state-owned Brazilian oil company Petrobras to build bio-fuel refineries in Mozambique and Angola, Il Sole 24 Ore reports.
ALITALIA was up €0.00 to €0.80... State extends offer deadline - Candidates interested in acquiring the State's 49.9% stake in the company have until 23 July to present their final offers after the deadline was extended from 12 July. Il Messaggero reported that AirOne will make a stock and cash offer of about €1.7 billion, while La Stampa said that AIR France
-KLM may consider an offer. Meanwhile Carlo Toto, AirOne chairman, clarified 'acquisitions conditions' to the unions where he outlined three years of no strikes and a redundancy fund.
NUMICO was up €4.55 to €44.50... Danone (DA) bids €55 per share for the company - After a day of speculation, which led to the company 's shares being suspended until market close, Danone says it intends to bid €55 per the company share.
SSAB was up SEK7.50 to SEK282.00... Deutsche raises target to SEK300 vs SEK250, keeps buy recommendation. The broker says it is positive on the European steel sector. Notes Co trades on a 2008 EV/EBITDA of 6.0x and on a PE of 9.7x.
MEDIVIR was up SEK0.75 to SEK64.75... first half07 revenues up 261.1% year-over-year - The company reports first half07 net revenues of SEK66.8 million, up 261.1% year-over-year, EBIT loss of SEK-102.8 million vs a loss of SEK-110.3 million year-over-year, pre-tax loss of SEK-98 million vs a loss of SEK-108.4 million year-over-year and EPS of SEK-5.84 vs SEK-8.40 year-over-year.
M-REAL was up €0.11 to €5.28... S&P Equity Research upgrades to buy vs strong sell and raises target to €5.80. Notes the company 's sale of Map Merchants division to Antalais for EUR387 million was at the higher end of the firm's expectations. Notes the company continues to look at strategic options for its three paper divisions. The firm has assessed the potential break-up value of the group and concludes that under a fairly optimistic scenario, the sum-of-the-parts (SOTP) could be worth more than the whole.
IBERIA was down €0.03 to €3.66... TPG gives 31 July deadline to respond to bid - The TPG consortium has reportedly given the company until the end of July to responmd to its EUR 3.60/sh offer. The company 's June Traffic Statistics are due on 12 July at 16:00 GMT. Citigroup expects Passenger Traffic (RPK) to fall by 1.2%, based on a Capacity (ASK) fall of 3.0% and a 1.5pp Load Factor increase to 82.5%.
FCC was down €1.15 to €69.55... To bid for contracts in Middle East - The company has pre-qualified to battle to win water supply and administration contracts in the cities of Aman (Jordan) and Riad (Saudi Arabia), worth EUR 5 billion, reports La Gaceta.
SWISSCOM was up CHF8.75 to CHF430.25... IT Services extends outsourcing contract - Securitas Group Switzerland, a leading provider of security services and alarm and security systems, is outsourcing the operation of its SAP systems to Swisscom IT Services.
SYNGENTA was up CHF2.90 to CHF247.20... Acquires Zeraim Gedera Ltd., an Israeli vegetable seeds company focusing on high-value crops, including tomato, pepper and melon. the company will buy all outstanding shares in the company from Markstone Capital Partners, an Israeli private equity group, for a consideration of US$95 million, subject to closing adjustments. Sales in 2006 were US$33 million.