Markets & Finance

European Movers: PSA, Fiat, Philips


Plus more European stocks making headlines Wednesday

France

PSA was down €1.21 to €52.04... Recalls 18,000 C3 and Xsara vehicles in Brazil for a brake-light flaw.

GDF was down €0.12 to €38.64... Confirms merger with Suez to take place in first half08 - reportedly.

LAGARDERE was down €0.34 to €51.99... To rebrand Europe 2 as Virgin Radio and pay license fee of 0.5% to 1% of sales to Virgin Group.

Germany

NORDDEUTSCHE was down €1.05 to €25.95... Cautious guidance as FY net more than doubles - the company reported 2006/07 EBIT of €260 million, up 134% year-over-year, on sales of €6.47 billion, up 12% year-over-year. Net profit jumped 164% to €159 million. the company said while it sees good results next year, it'll be hard to reach this year's level.

AXEL SPRINGER was up €2.09 to €98.59... Sees €620 million writedown for PIN Group - or thereabouts - having been unable to find a viable financing plan for the loss-making mail services unit. For DZ Bank's comment, see Broker Views & News - Germany.

Italy

ALITALIA was up €0.02 to €0.74... Delays decision on buyer until mid-Jan - Italy's govt has postponed, once again, a final decision to chose a buyer for the company for a further month to avoid Christmas strikes. The company says will take a decision by mid-January.

FIAT was down €0.30 to €16.85... EU agrees plan to cut car CO2 emissions - According to Reuters, the European Commission has agreed a plan to cut CO2 car emissions that will impose fines on auto-makers for non-compliance. New regulation will be phased in over four years initiating from 2012 and at €20 per excess g/km in 2012 and increasing to €95g/km. Press reports that the Italian govt will not extend existing tax incentives for car owners to give up older, higher-emission cars for new, efficient vehicles. Current incentives expire 31 December.

Netherlands

PHILIPS (PHG) was up €0.40 to €30.40... Announces new €5 billion buyback program - the company this morning announces a new €5 billion buyback program, to be completed over the next two years. The repurchased shares will be cancelled. This follows an amendment to Dutch tax law passed last night that the company CEO Gerard Kleisterlee describes as 'more investor friendly'. the company says it is 'well under way' to achieving its goal of an efficient balance sheet before the end of 2009.

TOMTOM was up €1.93 to €51.55... US market share grows 'significantly' in fourth quarter - CEO - the company 's US market share has increased 'significantly' in fourth quarter, said CEO Harold Goddijn in an interview with Bloomberg. He added that 'December is still an important month' and that forecasts 'stand'.

Nordic

PETROLEUM GEO SERV. was down NOK4.00 to NOK147.00... Profit warning on EBIT margin - the company announces fiscal 2007 EBIT margin in its Marine contract Division will be 'marginally below' 50% vs previous target of 50-55%. However, the company states new contracts underpins its expectations of a strong 2008, pointing out combined backlog of orders for the marine and onshore business has increased to record highs of c.US$950 million.

Spain

FAES was down €0.38 to €10.42... Sells Bilastina rights to Menarini - the company has sold the rights to market its antihistamine drug in 51 countries to Italian group Menarini. the company will received undisclosed payments for the rights in several stages, plus a royalty of 10-15% of annual sales.

DERMOESTETICA was down €1.00 to €7.16... 3i only wants UK unit - press - UK firm 3i is no longer interested in buying all of the company , but instead just wants the company 's UK unit, La Vanguardia reports. The company says talks will continue until 28 December.

United Kingdom

NORTHERN ROCK was up £0.04 to £0.91... Gains on talk B&B approach Sahres are higher after a press report indicated Bradford & Bingley was looking at buying some of the company 's assets.

BIFFA was up £0.21 to £3.39... Grants due diligence to potential offerors the company has granted due diligence to Montagu Private Equity LLP and Hg Pooled Management. The potential offerors said there were prepared to make a recommended cash offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital at a price of £3.50 per share. Shareholders would also retain the interim dividend of 2.3p per share.

This content is written by SP MarketScope Europe (EMS), an equity newswire. Reporters are: Pawan Girglani, Emma Gonzalez, Julien Manrique, Sara Oscarsson, Rocio Opazo-Aniotz, Gaurav Panchal, Claudia Perotti, Michael Sanderson, Emma Stevenson, John West, Isabell Witt .

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