Markets & Finance

European Movers: Alcatel-Lucent, Soc Gen, Ericsson


Plus more European stocks making headlines Wednesday

UK

NORTHERN ROCK was down £0.12 to £0.85... Receives more offers, starts talks - the company says has received additional indicative expressions of interest covering a range of options for the business, one of which does contemplate an offer materially below the market price at the close of business on 20 November. Adds advisors have begun discussions with a number of selected interested parties to clarify their proposals.

DAILY MAIL was up £0.03 to £7.50... fiscal pretax profit up 11%; Morgan named CEO - posted fiscal adjusted pretax profit of £288 million, +11%; revenue £2.235 billion, +3%; adj operating profit £322 million, +7%; EPS 49.3p, +6%; DPS 14.35p, +10%. In a separate statement says, chief executive Charles Sinclair has decided to retire, effective 30 September 2008. Adds Martin Morgan to will succeed Sinclair as CEO. Morgan is currently managing director of the company 's business information division, DMG Information.

THOMAS COOK GROUP was down £0.19 to £2.70... Plans to double operating profit in 3 years - The company says plans to double operating profit to EUR 620 million in three years. Expects revenue to grow to EUR 13 billion in 2009/10. Sees revenue from financial services to grow to around €370 million in 2009/10 from €215 million in 2005/06. Expects to recommend fiscal DPS in the range of 40%-50% of EPS and to pay one third of an annual DPS as an interim and two thirds as a final DPS.

France

SOC GEN was down €5.95 to €94.63... Goldman Sachs downgrades to sell from neutral and adds to its Pan-Europe Conviction Sell List. The company says subprime-related write-downs are causing growing concern over the quality of other credit categories (credit cards or auto loans), an incremental negative for the sector. Moreover, broker believes the company may have to further impair its subprime CDOs if total losses for the subprime market deteriorate further, something it views as likely.

ALCATEL-LUCENT (ALU) was down €0.32 to €4.96... Market share for mobile networks decreases to 8.6% in third quarter - Research company Dell'Oro Group reveals that the company 's market share for mobile networks, GSM and WCDMA has decreased to 8.6% in third quarter (vs 9.8% q/q), Reuters reports.

EDF was up €1.99 to €85.79... To receive compensation from Argentina deal - Spain's Endesa and Repsol will have to pay the company c.€70 million and c.€20 million, respectively, plus interest, El Pais reports, citing documents issued by both companies. The company says Endesa and Repsol sold shares of Easa and Edenor to the company in March 2001. the company claims neither company complied with their obligation to pay it compensation in the event of the Argentinian peso and US$ decoupling. Endesa has decided to appeal.

Germany

POSTBANK was up €1.20 to €55.92... Deutsche Bank CEO rules nothing out - Bloomberg quotes Deutsche Bank's CEO Ackermann as saying at a Berlin conference he does not rule out Postbank interest.

DEUTSCHE TELEKOM (DT) was down €0.14 to €15.10... Lehman Brothers upgrades to equal weight from underweight and raises target to €15.50 from €13.50. The broker thinks that earnings momentum appears to have finally turned the corner, and it is increasing forecasts for the first time in over 2 years, albeit modestly. Adds that upgrades to free cash flow, and hence DPS, mainly from a further 10% cut to capex forecasts leave the company 's valuation looking increasingly attractive.

DEUTSCHE BOERSE was down €3.19 to €118.42... Plans no substantial job cuts - the company says the projected annual savings of EUR 100 million from 2010 it announced in September will be predominantly through a reduction of non-personnel related costs. The number of employees is to remain 'virtually unchanged', the company says.

Italy

CATTOLICA ASSIC. was up €0.50 to €33.70... Signs agreement with Barclays - the company has signed a bancassurance deal with Barclays to sell life and pension products at the British bank's branches in Italy.

ITALCEMENTI was down €0.28 to €12.64... To exit DJ Stoxx 600 on 24 December - Effective with the open of European markets on December 24, 2007 the company will exit the Dow Jones STOXX 600. A total of 14 stocks will be added to the index and 14 stocks will exit.

Nordic

ERICSSON (ERIC) was down SEK1.32 to SEK14.68... The brokers adjust target after lower guidance - JP Morgan cuts target to SEK16 from SEK19.16, keeps neutral. WestLB upgrades to buy from hold and keeps price at SEK 20.90. Separately, Reuters reports citing research company Dell'Oro Group, that the company 's market share for mobile networks, GSM and WCDMA has decreased to 41.1% in third quarter (vs 48.1% q/q).

SKANSKA was down SEK1.25 to SEK116.75... Books SEK2.75 billion Subway contract in NY - the company says it has been selected by MTA New York City to expand part of Subway Line 7 in New York. The total value of the contract is SEK7.8 billion in which the company has a 35% share, representing SEK2.75 billion.

Spain

IBERDROLA was down €0.26 to €11.39... To sell 20% of its renewable energy unit - the company may raise as much as EUR 5.9 billion from an IPO of 20% of it's renewable energy business, according to a filing post market last night.

IBERIA was down €0.06 to €3.43... CM won't sell its 17% stake - press - Caja Madrid reportedly said it won't sell its 17% stake in the company Caja Madrid wants to replace UK's British Airways as the company 's main industrial partner and invite Deutsche Lufthansa to become the strategic partner, El Confidential says.

Switzerland

CS GROUP (CS) was down CHF2.10 to CHF62.30... Goldman Sachs cuts to conviction sell - Goldman Sachs downgrades to sell from neutral and lowers price target to CHF68.5 from CHF82.3. Adds the stock to its conviction sell list as well. The broker has adjusted its forecasts to take account of lower anticipated global growth and continued skepticism over the value of capital markets businesses.


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