Plus more European stocks making headlines Tuesday
TESCO was up £0.26 to £4.62... first half UK like-for-like sales up 3.5%, upbeat on second half - posted first half underlying pretax profit of £1.317 billion, +14.3% (vs cons £1.3 billion); sales £24.7 billion, +9.2%; trading profit £1.249 billion, +10.1% (vs cons £1.247 billion); underlying dil EPS 11.90p, +17.2%; DPS 3.20p, +13.9%. UK like-for-like sales ex-fuel +3.5%, August UK like-for-like sales 5%. Is confident of further progress in second half.
NORTHERN ROCK was up £0.06 to £1.38... Talk of venture cap meet, rescue package - Shares move higher on talk of a rescue package of £1.75/sh. However, others point out there is a venture capital meeting planned at the company this afternoon. A the company spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. Further, there is also talk that CFD firms are calling in the shorts. Spanish businessman Jose Maria Ruiz-Mateos has lost interest in the company , given its poor financial situation, reports Spanish newspaper ABC. The company says Mateos wrote a letter to Merrill Lynch, in which he criticises the performance of the Bank of England and the delay in the attempts to reach an agreement.
ITV was up £0.06 to £1.07... BSkyB stake restricts competition: CC - The Competition Commission says has provisionally found that the acquisition by BSkyB of a 17.9% share in the company restricts competition and therefore operates against the public interest. The CC adds that has concluded that BSkyB's shareholding in the company would be likely to lead to a substantial lessening of competition by giving it the ability to influence the company 's strategy. The CC will now consult on possible remedies to address the adverse public interest finding, including possible divestment of the shareholding, the statement adds.
BNP-PARIBAS was up €1.95 to €79.92... Morgan Stanley positive, but trims target - Morgan Stanley lowers target to EUR 95 from €100 and keeps overweight. Rolls over to fiscal 2008 estimates. Still implies some c.24% upside as of close on 1 October. The company says the company trades at an 11.2% discount to the European banking average on est. 2008 P/E of 8.7x and BV of 1.5x, in line with its historical average. The broker expects US sub-prime and potential costs to be limited and third quarter results on 8 November to act as a catalyst.
CAPGEMINI was up €1.27 to €45.54... Morgan Stanley reiterates overweight stance and its €62 target. Believes current near all-time valuation low 'can only be justified if one believes that the company 's business model and margins are as fragile as during the last downturn.' Broker does not take this view.
BULL was up €0.20 to €5.20... GFI: link-up with the company 's services unit makes sense - GFI CEO Jacques Tordjman says that GFI-Co.'s services unit link-up would make sense, Bloomberg reports. Adds that it's up to the company to make the link-up offer.
K+S AG was up €8.22 to €128.02... Warns on profit, but market confident about prices - the company says its 2007 earnings will be at the lower end of its €310-325 million forecast as it adjusts its currency hedges because of a strong euro compared to the US$. Merck Finck is sticking to its estimates and its buy rating as it still expects further price increases in the potash market due to the strong demand. Sal Oppenheim downgrades to neutral from strong buy, noting 'US$ worries, but nothing else'. Credit Suisse says these results are in sharp contrast to excellent trading fundamentals in the global potash industry and confirms its bearish view on the stock. The company reiterates underperform rating. Cheuvreux lifts target to €137 from €135; Selected List.
TUI AG Unchanged at €19.89... Talk of CEO Frenzel to resign forced by Guy Wyser-Pratte. Earlier this week, the US activist investor told Handelsblatt that he aims to break up the conglomerate. the company reportedly pooh-poohs the notion of CEO stepping down.
INFINEON was down €0.11 to €11.84... Qimonda/Sony DRAM chips j/v planned - the company 's Qimonda unit and electronics giant Sony plan to set up a j/v to design DRAM memory chips for consumer and graphics applications, starting at the end of the year. This is mainly an exercise in reducing costs.
ALITALIA was down €0.01 to €0.80... Transport Minister confirms sale within year - The Italian govt will have sold its 49.9% stake in the company by year-end, Transport Minister Alessandro Bianchi says. 'In the coming weeks, if not days, the company 's Chairman Maurizio Prato should deliver to the PM the outcome of the search for a buyer.' MF reports that AirFrance-KLM is prepared to acquire the company - but not at any price.
FINMECCANICA was up €0.15 to €20.70... Signs €100 million contract in Russia - the company 's Ansaldo Energia has signed two important contracts, worth a total of more than €100 million, in Russia with Power Machines, the main Russian manufacturer of power generation systems. The Italian govt's financial plan outlines steady ongoing investments in defence programs, among which Eurofighter and Fremm, MF reports.
ROYAL DUTCH SHELL (NL) was down €0.46 to €28.59... Oil slides towards US$80 a barrel as investors take profits from the near-record highs of last week.
TOMTOM was down €2.57 to €54.23... Rumour of bidding war for TeleAtlas - according traders. the company has today launched its formal offer for TeleAtlas with a bid of €21.25 per share. Acceptance period starts on 3 October and ends 4 December. A minimum acceptance level of 80% is required. However, sources say there are expectations that many shareholders will not tender their shares to the company due to speculation of a bidding war for TeleAtlas, possibly by Garmin. The rumour has been triggered by news that Nokia wants to buy Navteq, Garmin's main digi-map supplier.
CORPORATE EXPRESS was up €0.23 to €7.77... The broker looks at takeover of the company by Staples - Following yeysterday's news of the depature of the company 's CEO, Rabo Securities cuts target price to €9 from €12. Maintains buy recommendation. ABN Amro cuts target to €8 from EUR 9. Maintains hold recommendation. The Dutch Telegraaf reports that ABN Amro has been approached to look at a takeover of the company by Staples.
CARNEGIE was up SEK2.50 to SEK138.50... Invik and ABG raise holdings - Invik, owned by Icelandic Milestone has increased its stake in the company to 9.7% and becomes the company 's largest shareholder, Dagens Industri reports. Meanwhile, Cheuvreux notes Nordic investment bank ABG has flagged for 5.4% in the company The broker also points out HQ Bank would be an interesting fit to the group.
NOKIA (NOK) was up €0.03 to €26.20... Navteq move - analysts disagree S&P Eq Res keeps sell after acquisition proposal - S&P Eq Res argues the company 's proposed acquisition of Navteq is a move to add more services to their Ovi Internet services platform, recently announced on 29 August. The firm deems this as a defensive move in anticipation of slowing handset sales growth and margins that the firm thinks will come under pressure. Meanwhile, Exane says the move may be expensive, but is strategically astute and sound. Rates outperform with €26.20 target.
OMX was up SEK5.50 to SEK281.50... QIA filing document at FI - QIA has submitted a filing document to the Swedish financial watchdog FI, regarding ownership of the company
SACYR-VALLEHERMOSO was up €2.24 to €27.76... To sell Eiffage stake - website - the company will sell its 33% stake in French firm Eiffage as soon as the current legal dispute is cleared up, according to El Confidencial. The company says at current prices the company would have made a capital gain on the stake of €580 million.
BBVA was up €0.54 to €17.10... ABN Amro initiates with buy recommendation and €19 price target. The company says the company offers very strong fundamentals with: 1) 25% total shareholder return; 2) highest ROE in sector; and 3) a capital rebuild story with Eq Tier 1 going from 5.3% YE 2007 to 6.9% by 2009.
UBS (UBS) was up CHF1.90 to CHF66.40... CASH Daily: Investors want IB merger - Swiss publication CASH Daily carries a story that a spinoff and merger of the company 's Investment Banking division with Credit Suisse's IB unit could be what investors are looking for. The paper cites a Swisscanto fund manager as saying 'a fusion with the Investment Banking of Credit Suisse would make sesnse for the Swiss banking sector'. Traders in London, however, say the likeliness of this happening is highly unlikely. In broker action, JP Morgan is upgrading to neutral from underweight and trimming target to CHF72 from CHF74, while Morgan Stanley is upgrading to equal weight from underweight and trimming target to CHF77 from CHF81. Goldman Sachs reiterates buy, while lowering its target to CHF78.7 from CHF81.8. Bear Stearns cuts target price to CHF83.8 from CHF87.5, outperform.
CS GROUP (CS) was up CHF1.95 to CHF80.65... The brokers lower target prices - Goldman Sachs cuts target to CHF86.3 from CHF89.20; maintains neutral. Morgan Stanley trims target to CHF108 from CHF114, reiterates overweight. Goldman is reducing its EPS estimates following the announcement that the company expects to make CHF1 billion - CHF1.5 billion in net income during third quarter07 due to losses on leveraged loans and a marked slowdown in leveraged finance and structured credit activity. Bear Stearns lowers target to CHF109 from CHF115, keeps at outperform.
ROCHE was up CHF0.30 to CHF213.00... Kepler on FDA's Boniva safety review - The FDA says it has reviewed some safety data and requested additional data to further evaluate the risk of atrial fibrillation in patients who take bisphosphonates. The company says it may take up to 12 months to complete the evaluation. Kepler Equities notes the bisphosphonates include Bonviva, the company 's eleventh-largest drug. The broker says all of the top osteoporosis drugs belong to the bisphosphonate class. Therefore, even if the FDA concludes there is an increased risk of AF in certain patient populations, Kepler expects demand for Boniva to remain strong as the alternative of increased fracture risks is also serious. In separate news, the company names Juergen Schwiezer new head of diagnostics unit.