Markets & Finance

European Movers: Alcatel-Lucent, Siemens, Telefonica


Plus more European stocks making headlines Friday

UK

BRITISH LAND was down £0.49 to £11.15... Withdrawns plans to sell Meadowhall stake - The company said after market close yesterday that it has withdrawn the marketing of partial holdings in its Meadowhall Shopping Centre which commenced in May. The statement added that the uncertainty in financial markets has made the prospect of realising an appropriate value unlikely at the present time.

EASYJET was up £0.23 to £5.70... Sept traffic up, fiscal pretax profit to be at top end - The company says September passenger traffic rose 14.2% to 3.43 million, while load factor was 85.2%, down 1.3pp. Expects pretax profit growth at top end of earlier guidance of 40% to 50%. Adds that total pretax profit for the year to September 30, 2007, will exceed this guidance, taking into account a £11 million one-off benefit from the write-back of the investment in The Airline Group Ltd.

ALLIANCE & LEICESTER Down £0.61 to £7.91... Deutsche Bank downgrades to sell from hold and cuts target to £7.75 from £11.45. Believes that cyclical and high leverage growth will underperform structural and low leverage growth in retail and capital market plays. Adds declining margins and increasing credit costs will drive to de-rating.

France

ALCATEL-LUCENT (ALU) was down €0.06 to €7.15... The company says it remains supplier to AT&T denying a FT report. This morning, the FT wrote that the company is poised to lose business with AT&T to its rival Ericsson. Said that Ericsson is capitalising on the company 's difficulties to strengthen its leading position in wireless deals based on WCDMA technology. Added that AT&T had considered reducing its suppliers to two (Ericsson and Siemens) by dropping the company

PERNOD RICARD was up €1.90 to €155.49... Plans to split share by two - At its AGM on 7 November, the company board will ask to split the share value by two from 15 January 2008.

Germany

VW was up €7.05 to €167.97... Shares well bid on bear squeeze and talk of Porsche increasing stake. Also, trader notes, the company may be entering the STOXX 50 when ABN Amro is removed from the index. Or it may replace Endesa.

SIEMENS (SI) was up €0.75 to €99.02... Changes to management structure - New CEO reportedly says he will overhaul the company 's management structure to give more power to the heads to be appointed for the three big business - infrastructure/industry, energy and medical technology. Adds that lighting unit Osram is not up for sale, nor the TS trains business. In contracts news earlier: the company has reportedly landed an order worth €540 million to deliver 44 trains to Australian Federal Railways. This is the biggest order that the company 's Australian unit has won in the last ten years.

Italy

ATLANTIA was up €0.43 to €25.12... Wants partners to expand abroad - the company is seeking co-investors to back its expansion plans outside Italy, Chairman Gian Maria Gros-Pietro tells Il Sole 24 Ore. Italy's govt and the company are close to resolving a bitter dispute over investment but their agreement seems to have come too late to save a €25 billion merger with Abertis of Spain, writes the FT. Notes Antonio Di Pietro, infrastructure minister, announced that a preliminary agreement had been reached with the company that would see about €7 billion put into Italy's motorways. the company had no comment yesterday but people close to the talks cautioned that nothing had been finalised. Di Pietro referred to the deal as a gentleman's agreement that needed checking by lawyers and signing formally, added the paper.

BANCA ITALEASE was up €0.46 to €13.94... Rumours a new shareholder on the horizon - Shares are boosted by speculation that an investor will take a major stake in the company It has been suggested that the potential new shareholder could be interested in taking as much as 10% in the company

Netherlands

HAGEMEYER was up €0.42 to €3.97... AFM looks into share gain amid Rexel talk - The AFM has contacted the company regarding the company 's share price rise, Bloomberg reports. Adds that the Dutch regulator says the company does not know where the Rexel rumour came from. Responding to speculation that Rexel could make a bid for the company , an analyst thinks this does not sound logical amid current credit crunch and turmoil on financial markets. The analyst notes a takeover would certainly offer some synergies, but the company currently trades at a significant premium to Rexel and there are uncertainties regarding the economic outlook in the US and therefore risks to earnings estimates.

ABN AMRO (ABN) was unchanged at €37.72... Trading suspended as the deadline for the subscription period relating to the Consortium's bid for the company has now ended. Barclays has withdrawn its offer for the company and will now restart its share buyback program. Barclays is requesting payment of the €200 million break fee to which it is contractually entitled.

Nordics

ERICSSON (ERIC) was up SEK0.64 to SEK26.72... Set to gain further sales with AT&T - Alcatel-Lucent may lose mobile infrastructure sales with AT&T to the company, the FT reports. The paper says this would be a serious blow to Alcatel-Lucent, arguing the company is capitalising on the French-US group's difficulties in order to strengthen its leading position in mobile phone infrastructure deals based on WCDMA technology.

SAS was down SEK1.25 to SEK120.00... SEK500 million financial impact of Q400 grounding - September group traffic comes in 5.9% higher year-over-year and load factor rose 1.5% to 75.5%. The company says the financial impact of grounding of the Dash Q400 fleet is estimated to c.SEK500 million.

TGS NOPEC was up NOK1.50 to NOK109.00... May face problems with ship - Market talk suggest the company may have problem with one of its ships. The shares fell in late trade yesterday, finishing 4.02% lower.

Spain

TELEFONICA (TEF) was up €0.45 to €19.34... The broker action / Tariff increases - Caja Madrid raises fair value to €18.60 vs €16, hold. Expects the company to announce a new share buyback program to a value of €3 billion for the next three years. JP Morgan ups target to €22.10 from €19.90, overweight. Expects the investor day next week to bring bold guidance. The company will increase its fixed line phone tariffs by 2.0-2.7% from January, reports Cinco Dias, citing sources at the company

VUELING was up €2.12 to €10.12... September load factor reaches 78.8% - the company says September passenger traffic rose 75.2% to 626,903 with load factor up 4.1pp to 78.8%. Adds third quarter passenger traffic rose 83.6% while load factor rose 5.4pp to 84.4%. Planeta, controlled by the Lara family, will not sell its 15.87% stake in the company , reports Expansion. However, adds Jose Manuel Lara believes a change in strategy in needed. The paper also notes that the Spanish civial aviation authorities are following the group's financial situation to try to avoid any negative impact on passengers.

Switzerland

ADECCO was up CHF1.15 to CHF74.95... Shares rise after US jobs data - Headline September non-farm payrolls rose 110,000 (ahead of expectations) and the August figure was revised to +89,000 from -4,000, and July to +93,000 from +68,000, meaning a net gain including revisions of 228,000. 4Cast says that looking into the breakdown, this is a fairly unremarkable report from the private sector. Private payrolls rise by 73,000 and nearly all the revisions were in government.

GIVAUDAN was up CHF35.00 to CHF1146.00... Reports third quarter/9M sales on Monday - A Reuters consenus puts nine months sales at CHF3.109 billion (+41%). Vontobel sees focus on first potential negative side effects from the Quest integration on growth. Forecasts a slight sequential slowdown in organic growth to +4.5% in third quarter (or +4.7% in pro-forma terms).


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