Markets & Finance

European Movers: Rio Tinto, EADS, Siemens


Plus more European stocks making headlines Thursday

UK

RIO TINTO (RTP) was up £9.39 to £52.89... Rejects BHP approach as undervalued - the company says has rejected an approach from BHP Billiton saying that the proposal significantly undervalues the company and its prospects. Adds that under the proposal each the company share would be exchanged for three BHP Billiton. Adds that will continue to focus on the implementation of its well articulated strategy, including integrating Alcan. In a separate statement, the company says in exploring options to sell some or all of Rio Tinto Energy America. Rio Tinto Energy America is the second largest US coal producer by tonnage.

MITCHELLS & BUTLERS was up £0.21 to £6.31... Elpida talk, Punch Taverns figs help - Shares gain on talk that Irish millionaires John Magnier and JP McManus are back in the market buying again through Elpida Group. Elpida owns a 3.36% stake in the company Elpida is controlled by the family trusts of Magnier and McManus. Elpida was not reachable for comment. Also, note that Britain's largest pubs group Punch Taverns poured out a 13% jump in fiscal pretax profit, saying that it was confident about long-term prospects.

MAN GROUP was down £0.04 to £5.55... first half pretax profit grows 21% - The company says funds under management US$68.6 billion at 30 September, up US $6.9 billion from 31 March. Reports first half pretax profit on cont ops of US$820 million, +21%. Adds continued good product performance has generated significant performance fee income for October and the outlook for sales remains good

BT GROUP was down £0.13 to £3.02... second quarter EBITDA slightly ahead of forecast - Reports second quarter revenue £5.095 billion, +3%; EBITDA before specific items and leaver costs £1.448 billion, +2% (vs consensus £1.43 billion); broadband net additions of 479,000; interim DPS 5.4p, +6%.

France

EADS was up €1.39 to €22.87... third quarter loss/US$ weakness to deepen cost-cutting - Gallois - Problems surround the A400 million drags the company deep into the red for third quarter, with the loss before interest and tax coming in at €710 million. the company 's new fiscal 2007 guidance looks for slightly decreased revenues and EBIT breakeven, down from previous forecast of profit. In other news, the company CEO has reportedly told BFM radio that the US$ slide against the €is a 'Sword of Damocles' over the business and that the Power8 cost-cutting plans will have to be implemented with the company taking 'additional measures.' He argues the company needs to save a further €1 billion by 2010-2011.

ALSTOM was down €11.63 to €150.59... Suffers profit-taking - the company suffers profit-taking having upped guidance as first half operating margin rises to 7.2% from 6.3% year-over-year. Core profit comes in 39% higher year-over-year at €573 million. the company 's stock has enjoyed significant outperformance YTD.

BNP-PARIBAS was down €0.19 to €70.51... third quarter beats ests - CIB subprime exposure 'negligible' - the company reports third quarter revenues of €7.69 billion, up 12.6% year-over-year (beating forecasts of c.€7.493 billion); op profit of €3.047 billion, up 18.7% year-over-year (also above consensus of €2.943 billion). Net profit comes in at €2.027 billion, up 21% year-over-year. nine months revenues are €6.816 billion, up 22% year-over-year; with nine months EPS at €7.40, up 19% year-over-year. the company notes its results are up 'substantially in the context of a crisis that has had only a limited impact on the group.' The company says the crisis' net hit on revenues has been €186 million. Adds CIB's net direct exposure to US subprime risk is 'negligible'.

Germany

POSTBANK was up €5.64 to €49.54... Reports third quarter net profit of €406 million - ahead of expectations. A tax benefit and asset sales supported the bottom line. On the broker front, WestLB upgrades to buy from add; target €60.00.

SIEMENS (SI) was up €7.87 to €103.02... Announces big buyback as third quarter core profit tops ests - the company posted fiscal fourth quarter orders up a better-than-expected 21% to €21.33 billion, though quarterly sales at €20.2 billion is slightly weaker than expected. The operating profit of €1.99 billion is ahead of forecasts, while the net loss of €74 million for the quarter includes a €1 billion tax expense for VDO. In further news: the company has set higher targets for its core units and is initiating a buyback program worth some

DEUTSCHE TELEKOM (DT) was up €0.02 to €14.14... Ups cash flow target as third quarter core profit tops ests - the company reported better-than-expected third quarter adjusted EBITDA of €5.13 billion on sales at €15.96 billion, also better than forecast. Confirms 2007 outlook for adjusted EBITDA of €19 billion. Lifts free cash flow target to €6.5 billion. Landsbanki Kepler says after two years of EBITDA declines, it seems the company has now reached its bottom at €19 billion, building the base for future growth. Rates buy. WestLB lifts target to €14.50 from €13.50, reiterating hold.

Italy

TENARIS was down €1.25 to €16.17... Disappointment after third quarter numbers the company posts third quarter net sales of US$2.523 billion, down 3% q/q (up 40% year-over-year); EBITDA of US$828 million, down 9% q/q (up 11% year-over-year); EBITDA margin of 33% vs 35% in second quarter07 and 42% in third quarter06. operating income of US$687 million, down 12% q/q (down 1% year-over-year); net income of US$436.4 million, down 18% q/q (down 14% year-over-year). EPS of US$0.34, down 19% q/q (down 16% year-over-year). The company says third quarter was affected by a lower level of sales of seamless pipe products and higher production costs. Board approves payment of interim DPS of US$0.13 (US$0.26 per ADS), ex-dividend date of 19 November. Cheuvreux downgrades to underperform from outperform, following disappointing third quarter. The company says sales were in line but with a worse mix. Adds EBITDA margin of 33% is below 35% guidance and broker's forecast. Sees 3-4% EPS reduction ahead. Forecasts a weak fourth quarter.

Netherlands

FORTIS was down €1.42 to €18.28... third quarter net below estimates - the company reports third quarter net profit of €797 million, down 10% year-over-year and lower than expected. third quarter net for banking is at EUR 587 million, higher than expected and for insurance at EUR 294, lower than expected. the company says has managed the financial turmoil in the credit markets without results suffering a material impact. The company reiterates fiscal 2007 outlook.

TOMTOM was down €0.11 to €54.90... TA recommends the company 's offer - Tele Atlas says supports and recommends the company 's offer at €30 per share in cash.

Nordic

ASSA ABLOY was up SEK5.00 to SEK138.25... Delivers forecast-beating third quarter - third quarter sales comes in at SEK8.27 billion vs SEK8.33 billion forecast, pretax profit at SEK1.21 billion vs SEK1.19 billion, organic growth at 7% - in line with forecasts. The company reiterates that it expects continued strong organic sales growth and guides for continued solid development of operating margin and operating cash flow. However, Americas reports light sales at SEK2.621 million, 1% below consensus estimate.

Spain

ACCIONA was up €13.85 to €241.90... Deutsche, Caja Madrid upbeat - Deutsche Bank says the company is a successful restructuring story, after diversifing away from construction and housing business into renewable energy. Starts with buy recommendation and €228 target. Caja Madrid raises fair value to €243.40 from EUR 162, keeps accumulate. Revises valuation of the energy division to €12.497 billion from €5.931 billion.

REPSOL YPF (REP) was down €0.07 to €26.64... third quarter results top consensus - the company delivers third quarter proforma adjusted operating profit of €1.299 billion and net profit of €670 million. For nine months, operating profit falls 14.1% to €4.802 billion and net profit falls 9.4% to €2.545 billion. Numbers are ahead of consensus forecasts. The company says production fell 3.2%, excluding the effect of contract changes in Bolivia and Dubai.

Switzerland

PETROPLUS was up CHF4.00 to CHF97.40... Shares rise on stronger-than-expected third quarter - the company 's third quarter net earnings top expectations, coming in at US$67.8 million. Operating profit of US$96 million also beat expectations. Landsbanki Kepler analyst Fabian Baumann says 'operating results were slightly better than expected but our fiscal 2007 estimates are likely to come down due to adjustments on Coryton throughput for fourth quarter'. The broker rates the stock reduce.


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