Plus more European stocks making headlines Wednesday
TATE & LYLE was up £0.03 to £4.36... first half pretax profit falls 19%, but beats forecast - posted first half adjusted pretax profit of £120 million, -19% (vs consensus £115 million); adjusted dil EPS 15.8p; DPS 6.5p, +5%; sales £1.662 billion. The company says the 2008 financial year is proving to be more challenging than expected at the beginning of the year with difficult conditions in international sugar trading and weak US$ adversely. Expects the outturn, based on an average US$ rate in second half of US$2.04 vs £, for continuing businesses in second half to be broadly similar to that of first half.
TAYLOR WIMPEY was up £0.17 to £2.51... Sees UK market subdued into new year - The company says remains on track to deliver synergy savings in line with the previously stated value and timetable. Adds that although market conditions in the UK are subdued and conditions continue to be challenging in North America, remains well placed to deliver on its strategic objectives. In the UK, anticipates that market conditions will remain subdued into the new year.
SANOFI-AVENTIS (SNY) was up €1.29 to €60.54... third quarter net profit beats consensus/Actelion rumour - the company this morning reports third quarter net profit (ex-selected items) of €1.883 billion, up 10.8% year-over-year - ahead of consensus that looked for net profit of €1.712 billion. third quarter sales are up to €7.025 billion, an increase of 4.4% year-over-year on a comp. basis. nine months net profit comes in at €5.532 billion, up 6.3% year-over-year. Highlights positive Plavix performance in the US and Japan, the launch of Lantus SoloStar in the US and the R&D presentation last month. Expects fiscal 2007 adj. EPS to come in up 10% year-over-year. In other news, there is talk on the market that the company could be interested in bidding for Switzerland's Actelion, although one trader says such rumour is probably 'rubbish' and is likely just an attempt to 'push the stock.'
EDF was down €1.73 to €82.79... Vague placement rumour does the rounds - Various market sources report vague rumour of a stock placement. No details have been talked of. In other news, The Guardian writes that the company 's UK EDF Energy arm has been given the green light to build a £600 million gas-fired power station in Nottinghamshire.
DANONE was up €0.21 to €59.17... EC conditionally approves takeover of Numico - The EC has approved the company 's takeover of Numico, conditional upon the divestment of Numico's baby milk and drink units in Belgium and the company 's baby milk unit in the Netherlands.
DEUTSCHE BANK (DB) was up €3.25 to €92.05... posted third quarter pretax profit of €1.4 billion (broker comment) - down 19% year-over-year. the company 's investment banking business made a €179 million loss in the quarter. The outlook statement is relatively cautious, with the company saying 'challenges undoubtedly remain'. However, it has also indicated a positive start to fourth quarter and reiterated 2008 targets, assuming markets function at normal levels. Sal Oppenheim notes a major drop in the compensation ratio helps to bring pretax and bottom-line results some €200 million above the indicated levels from early October. The company says its scenario analysis of primary and secondary market revenues in investment banking would have to drop by 40-50% versus 2006 to bring its fair value down to current share price levels. Raises estimates as it reiterates buy rating.
MAN was up €4.87 to €123.20... third quarter core profit tops estimates (broker comment/action) - the company reported an estimates-topping 36% rise in third quarter operating profit to €378 million and lifted its full-year targets for new orders, sales and earnings. UBS says the results look good on an operating level. Notes orders at €4.7 billion, up 19% year-over-year and better than expected, mainly in the Diesel division. The company says trucks are a bit weaker than expected but margins solid at 11%. The broker expects a positive shares reaction. Dresdner lifts target to €135 from €120, reiterating buy.
GPC BIOTECH was down €4.69 to €3.27... Satraplatin setback weighs heavily - the company disclosed that a late-stage trial of its proposed prostate cancer pill satraplatin has failed to meet its primary goals. It says a renewed filing in the US is unlikely. Deutsche downgrades the stock to sell, cutting the target to €2.00 from €14.50. See Broker Views & News - Germany. Credit Suisse also cuts target to €2.00, from €10.00.
TISCALI was up €0.08 to €2.49... The brokers lift targets as picture improves - Cheuvreux raises target to €2.75 from €2.55 as acquisition risk is over and visibility is set to improve. Sees catalyst from business plan revision and speculative appeal. Keeps outperform rating. Goldman Sachs ups target to €2.57 from €2.45; reiterates neutral. Adjusts estimates: narrows fiscal 2007 loss per share forecast to €0.12 from €0.17 and raises fiscal 2008 EPS forecast to €0.07 from €0.01.
ENI (E) was unchanged at €25.20... third quarter net earnings decline 11% year-over-year - the company posts third quarter adjusted operating profit of EUR 4.245 billion, down 17.2%; operating profit of €4.38 billion, down 9.3%; adjusted net profit of €1.89 billion, down 27.8%; net profit of €2.15 billion, down 11.4%. Cash flow of €3.37 billion. Expenditures on capital and exploration projects of €2.68 billion, up 46%. Oil & gas production was down by 2.9% to 1.66 million boe/d. Reaffirms previous guidance for a production level in line with 2006, under the assumption of fiscal 2007 Brent crude oil price at US$55/bbl as per the company 's four-year plan. Confirms guidance for light year-over-year sales growth, supported by expansion in target European markets.
UNILEVER NV (UN) was down €0.40 to €22.39... third quarter sales of €10.322 billion expected - Morgan Stanley is suggesting to sell ahead of third quarter numbers tomorrow, according to a trader. The broker thinks sales growth is set to decelerate in third quarter, the trader adds. Also note that Hindustan Unilever, India's largest consumer goods maker, unveiled a 22% fall in third quarter profit. According to a Reuters consensus, the company is expected to report third quarter sales of €10.322 billion, operating profit of €1.416 billion and EPS of €0.32.
TOMTOM was down €12.72 to €55.06... Garmin tops the company 's offer for TeleAtlas - US competitor Garmin has outbid the company 's offer for TeleAtlas by offering €24.50 for TeleAtlas. Garmin's offer is 15% higher than the company 's.
HENNES & MAURITZ was up SEK9.50 to SEK423.00... Affarsvarlden says buy - Swedish business weekly Affarsvarlden puts a buy recommendation on the company , which after Ericsson's profit warning is the biggest company on the Stockholm bourse. The paper expects sales to continue to increase by c.14% with a margin around 24%.
RAISIO was up €0.01 to €1.90... ABN and Handelsbanken upgrade - ABN upgrades to hold vs sell and raises target to €1.80. The broker highlights the company has renewed its pricing mechanism in a way that it shouldn't be hurt by the changes in grain prices going forward. Also points out, CEO Matti Rihko stated that the company has priced its products for 2008 aiming to realise an EBIT margin of, or at least close to, 5% in the Food division. The company says this is a very positive indication, since the Food unit is still in the red. Handelsbanken upgrades to accumulate from reduce and ups target to €2.15 vs €2.10.
DNB NOR was up NOK0.10 to NOK88.50... third quarter NII seen up 10% year-over-year - Ahead of third quarter results tomorrow, a Reuters poll expects NII of NOK4.340 billion vs NOK3.911 billion (all year-over-year), pretax profit of NOK4.138 billion vs NOK3.558 billion, net results of NOK3.204 billion vs NOK2.714 billion and EPS of NOK2.41 vs NOK2.00.
EBRO PULEVA was down €0.27 to €14.23... nine months07 net att. profit falls 55.8% - the company says net attributable profit fell 55.8% year-over-year to €57.79 million, on revenues up 8.3% to EUR 1.954 billion. The company says operating profit rose 1.9% to EUR 149.56 million.
FLUIDRA was up €0.27 to €6.77... Shares gain on market debut - The IPO price was set at €6.50, the low end of the €6.22-€7.55 indicative range.
ACTELION was up CHF3.05 to CHF57.55... Shares up on talk of Sanofi interest - According to various traders, the company 's share are rising on market talk that France's Sanofi-Aventis could be interested in bidding for the company , although one trader says it's probably 'rubbish' and probably just a rumour from people 'trying to push the stock'.
VALORA was up CHF11.00 to CHF295.00... Reveals third quarter profit / Kepler upgrades - For third quarter, the company generated an operating profit of CHF21 million, according to initial estimates. the company says that after a disappointing second quarter, this encouraging result shows that the new strategy and the initiatives it has taken to optimise operating efficiency are both on track. the company anticipates that the 2007 financial year as a whole should generate a Group operating profit of at least CHF48 million. Landsbanki Kepler upgrades to buy from reduce and lifts target price to CHF360 from CHF250. Believes that a group of shareholders led by Adriano Agosti, which control 11% of the group, can wrest control and that momentum for change is unstoppable.