Markets & Finance

European Movers: Schneider, Thyssen Krupp, Fortis


Plus more European stocks making headlines Thursday

UK

ALLIANCE & LEICESTER was up £0.48 to £6.84... Core op profit to be lower than ests - The company says including the change in the fair value and impairment of Treasury investments, which at the end of October totalled a charge of £55 million, core operating profit will be lower than the current range of analyst forecasts. the company says is maintaining strong asset quality whilst delivering franchise growth and good cost control. Expects the rate of growth in interest earning assets to slow in 2008. The company says at the end of October the fair value of the CDOs, along with FRNs and ABS, had fallen by £101 million compared to 31 December 2006, reflecting market prices. The company says total Treasury impairment loss charge for 10M to 31 October was £40 million, which is reflected in the profit and loss account.

BRADFORD & BINGLEY Up £0.05 to £3.08... fiscal u/l profit to be line with forecasts - the company expects fiscal underlying profit to be in line with the current market consensus. The company says has successfully funded the bank in very tough conditions and is now even better placed to take advantage of opportunities. Adds has continued to write good levels of new buy-to-let business and the new business pipeline at the end of October, whilst lower than June, was higher than a year ago.

MITCHELLS & BUTLERS was down £0.41 to £5.80... fiscal pretax profit slips, exploring R2O proposal - Unveils fiscal pretax profit of £207 million, -0.5%; revenue £1.894 billion, +10.1%; operating profit £343 million, +11.0%; DPS 14.25p, 16.3%. The company says trading in three weeks to 17 November has shown a material improvement October with same outlet like-for-like sales up 2.4% following the launch of new winter menus. Adds outlook for consumer spending remains uncertain and the first winter of the English smoking ban will be challenging. The company says has received a proposal from R20 about a demerged REIT structure, the attractiveness and feasibility of which the company is now exploring with R20.

France

SCHNEIDER was up €2.44 to €93.66... Raises 2009 targets for its critical power unit - the company raised fiscal 2009 sales target for the Critical Power & Cooling Services Business Unit to US$4.3 billion-US$4.5 billion, representing average annual organic growth of between 11% and 13%. Expects EBITA of between US$650 million and US$750 million, for a margin of between 15% and 17%.

BOUYGUES was up €1.23 to €59.72... €500 million order to biuld and run UK

tunnels - the company reportedly won a €500 million order to build, renovate and run two tunnels near Newcastle.

Germany

PROSIEBEN was up €0.73 to €17.60... Bullish on full-year results - the company reported third quarter EBITDA of €124.8 million on quarterly sales at €668.4 million. The company says ad sales were flat in October and 5% higher in November. Sees December ad sales stronger year-over-year. All in all, reckons it may beat the consensus expectation of €510 million EBITDA pre-exceptionals for 2007.

THYSSEN KRUPP was up €0.88 to €38.67... POSCO hovering? / Broker action / Results preview - There is market talk that POSCO is mulling a €54 per share bid for the company The South Korean group denied this. On the broker front, JP Morgan initiates with neutral and €35 target. The company's fourth quarter/FY results are due out 4 December.

Italy

MARIELLA BURANI was up €1.05 to €19.80... PE with an eye for a fashion group - Il Sole 24 Ore reports that European independent private equity fund Doughty Hanson is preparing a bid for the company at €26/share. Shares in the company settled at €18.744 last night. Any bid on the company would lead to a bid on Antichi Pellettieri. The Burani family is understood to be considering the offer.

ENI (E) was up €0.35 to €24.07... Bear Stearns starts with peer perform and target price of €23.72. The company says the company is one of the world's top-ten integrated Oil & Gas companies (in terms of production), a major supplier of natural gas to the Italian market and has an important growing international gas business. Forecasts fiscal 2006-FY10 average production growth at 2.8%, below the lower end of the company guidance. Negocio reports talk that the company is planning to take a stake in Repsol, allowing it to collaborate in the Spanish group's strategic plans but without influence on management.

Netherlands

FORTIS was up €0.36 to €18.51... China's Ping An Insurance buys 4.2% stake for US$2.7 billion. Ping An, now the company's top shareholder, is China's No.2 life insurer.

BAM GROEP was up €0.46 to €16.45... nine months net profit jumps 181% - outlook raised - the company unveils nine months turnover of EUR 2.786 billion, up 18% year-over-year; operating profit of €235.5 million, up 122% year-over-year; and net profit of €192.6 million, up 181% year-over-year. the company's order book remains at a 'high record level' and amounts to €13.7 billion as of 30 September 2007. Raises fiscal 2007 outlook, seeing net profit of at least €310 million from a previous €296 view.

Nordic

ERICSSON (ERIC) was up SEK0.46 to SEK15.86... Verizon network upgrade / class action lawsuit - Verizon Wireless says it will upgrade its wireless network with Long Term Evolution technology supported by Intel, which will be tested in 2008. Reuters writes that this could have a negative impact on Qualcomm, which currently develops the technology for Verizon's network. However it would benefit Alcatel-Lucent, the company and NSN who will help with the testing. Labaton Sucharow, a US law firm, has filed a lawsuit against the company , concerning the recent profit warning. The law firm says the class action lawsuit is on behalf of investors who acquires the shares between 2 February and 20 November this year.

MOELLER MAERSK was down DKK300.00 to DKK61400.00... nine months net at DKK14.4 billion - outlook unchanged - the company reports nine months results with sales of DKK205.4 billion and net profit of DKK14.4 billion. EBIT for container activities reached US$626 million. Regarding guidance the company keeps its fiscal 2007 sales and net profit targets, however expects fiscal 2007 cash flow from operating activities to reach US$6.5 billion vs a previous forecast of US$6 billion and net results for Oil & Gas activities to be lower year-over-year.

Spain

BANKINTER was up €0.51 to €13.85... Jaime Botin asks for OK to raise stake to 29.9%. Press reports had it earlier this week that Jaime and Emilio Botin are believed together to control more than 25% of the company Jaime Botin's declared shareholding in the company is 16%. Meanwhile, Credit Agricole's CEO Georges Pauget has reportedly said that the French bank does not plan to bid for the company

REPSOL YPF (REP) was up €0.28 to €24.90... Kepler upgrades / Talk ENI to buy stake - Kepler upgrades to buy from hold. The company says YPF newsflow is getting closer while R&M is regaining strength. Negocio reports talk that Italy's ENI is planning to take a stake in the company , allowing it to collaborate in the company's strategic plans but without influence on management. Outgoing Argentine President Nestor Kirchner has reportedly called for oil firms such as the company and Petrobras to invest more in the country.


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