Markets & Finance

European Movers: Cadbury, Heinken, Swiss Re


UK

CADBURY SCHWEPPES was down £0.18 to £6.22... Ups confectionery rev goal, demerger on track - the company expects confectionery revenue growth above goal range of 4%-6% and modest margin improvement in 2007. The company says commodity costs have risen more sharply in second half. Sees commodity input costs to be 5%-6% higher in 2008 and will seek to offset these increases through further price rises. Adds Americas Beverages continued out-performance in challenging markets, with revenues expected to be 4%-5% ahead in 2007. The company says demerger of AmericasBeverages is on track and is to rename the business Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc.

XSTRATA was up £0.90 to £37.46... Lehman raises target to £43 from £40, keeps overweight following the company 's annual seminar. The company says the growth pipeline in copper, nickel and coal is impressive. Estimates the NPV of the projects to be at least US$18.7 billion (£9.40/share). the company is open to talks with potential suitors, including Vale and Anglo American, the FT quotes people close to the situation.

THOMAS COOK GROUP was up £0.20 to £2.78... Unveils share buyback, operating profit to beat ests - the company announces share buyback program of about €375 million and expects to report fiscal pro forma operating profit before exceptionals, at €375.3 million (up 26%), significantly higher than market expectations. Adds the integration of the businesses is proceeding well and synergies are expected to be at least EUR 200 million. Also announces DPS of 5p. The company says early indications for the UK summer season 2008 are good.

France

LAFARGE was up €1.52 to €123.27... Frere may raise his stake/Brokers up targets - GBL, Belgian billionaire Albert Frere's investment company, may raise its stake in the company to 30% vs 17.5% currently, according to board member Paul Desmarais Jr, Bloomberg reports. Following the company 's acquisition of Orascom Cement, UBS raises target to €143.5 from €140.0. Keeps buy. JP Morgan lifts target to €150 from €142. Keeps neutral. Soc Gen lifts target to €165 from €158. Keeps buy. Deutsche Bank ups target to €176 from EUR 160. Keeps buy. Cheuvreux raises target to €140. Keeps outperform. Credit Suisse lifts target to €165 from €155. Keeps outperform. See Broker Views & News - France.

DANONE was down €1.73 to €59.02... To appeal ruling in China on Wahaha dispute

Germany

NORDDEUTSCHE was up €2.44 to €26.00... Dividend hike proposal buoys stock - the company expects EBT of some €250 million for fiscal 2006/07 and recommends a dividend payment of EUR 1.45 per share, up from €1.05 last year.

PROSIEBEN was down €0.23 to €17.92... Axel Springer agrees to sell 12% stake in the company to private equity consortium KKR and Permira for €509.4 million, giving the consortium full control of the company

FRESENIUS AG was down €0.74 to €57.66... Acquires Ribbon - an Italian antibiotic agent specialist which had sales of about US$54 million this year. No transaction details disclosed. On the broker front, Cheuvreux reinitiates with outperform and €66 target.

Italy

FINMECCANICA was up €1.07 to €21.13... Improves fiscal 2007 EBIT outlook - the company says fiscal 2007 EBIT should come in at c.€1.1 billion vs €878 million in fiscal 2006. This is head of the company 's previous target of €between €950 million-€1 billion. Also sees free cash flow coming in positive versus previous forecast of breakeven free cash flow. The company reiterates there will be no impact from the delays of Boeing 787.

ALITALIA was up €0.00 to €0.86... To choose new partner tomorrow - press - Chairman Maurizio Prato could choose a candidate by tomorrow to initiate exclusive talks to sell the govt's stake, according to Milano Finanza. According to Finanza e Mercati, Quantum group could join the bid battle for the company and present a non-binding offer. Writes Quantum will lead a consortium that will include the Evergreen and THL funds and Singapore Airlines. Air One Chairman Carlo Toto will present his turnaround plan for the company Toto has said that the company should remain Italy-focused and not become an offshoot of a foreign group reducing its role to regional carrier. he believes it is possible to save and develop the hubs at Rome and Milan if a plan is chosen that protects the interests of Italy.

Netherlands

HEINEKEN was up €0.44 to €45.32... the company /Carlsberg may raise bid for S&N - Carlsberg and the company clarified yesterday that they may raise their £7.50 per share bid for S&N after a report in The Sunday Times suggesting otherwise.

Nordic

FINNAIR was up €0.50 to €9.60... November load factor up 1.9% - the company 's total traffic for November, measured in passenger kilometers, increased by 22.0%, while capacity was up by 18.8%, resulting in a passenger load factor of 71.4% or 1.9% higher than last year.

TELE2 was down SEK3.50 to SEK136.50... Carnegie cuts to u/p while Goldman starts with sell - Carnegie downgrades to underperform vs outperform, keeps target at SEK130. Broker cuts rating amid fewer divestments, lack of large cash distribution and margin pressure in core areas. Goldman resumes coverage with sell with target at SEK140. The broker notes the stock has outperformed the sector over three, six and 12 months, saying the stock now looks expensive against its peers.

Spain

CINTRA was up €0.27 to €11.48... Solid traffic figures / JPM ups target - Kepler notes that the company yesterday reported solid traffic figures. The company says 407 ETR saw November traffic up 6.85%. JP Morgan says the company is its top overweight stock pick in the Contracting and Concessions sector for 2008. Raises target price to €18.55 from €17.70.

Switzerland

SWISS RE was up CHF0.30 to CHF85.75... Buyback likely to be completed ahead of time - the company reveals as it hosts an investor day today. Also says it remains committed to Financial Services unit, which last month disclosed a heavy subprime writedown.


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