Markets & Finance

European Movers: CapGemini, Philips, Volvo


Plus more European stocks making headlines Thursday

France

ARCELOR-MITTAL (MT) was up €0.65 to €49.56... Financial woes will not hurt steel demand - CEO - Press reports quote CEO Lakshmi Mittal as saying financial market woes will not hurt steel demand.

CAPGEMINI was up €1.04 to €40.24... Oracle reports strong quarterly profit - up 35% year-over-year on higher-than-expected software sales - and delivered an upbeat outlook statement. The stock rose 6.5%. Lehman Brothers trims target to €50 from €65. Believes that a near 50% de-rating in the P/E over the past year means that significant EPS cuts are already priced in. The company says that a rapidly building off-shore capability, a broad revenue mix and strong execution on costs combine to drive 27% upside to the current share price. the company is broker's preferred stock in the EU IT services sector. Keeps overweight.

VIVENDI was up €0.18 to €31.28... SFR buys Dreyfus's stake for €2.12 billion - the company 's SFR agrees to buy Louis Dreyfus & Cie's 29.5% stake in Neuf Cegetel at €34.5 per share. the company says it will bid €36.5 per Neuf Cegetel share for the remaining shares.

GERMANY

ESCADA was down €1.94 to €18.31... fiscal core profit slides - the company reported fiscal 2006/07 EBITDA of €68.2 million, down 8% year-over-year and lower than expected. Sales slipped 1.2% to €686.8 million. the company cut its forecast. It expects sales and core earnings to come in lower next year that this year's level.

FREENET was down €0.67 to €15.96... Ends talks to sell assets - the company has reportedly decided to end talks about selling parts of itself to different buyers, including Drillisch.

Italy

ALITALIA was up €0.03 to €0.78... Preferred bids can proceed to binding phase- Bianchi - Italy's Transport Minister Alessandro said in an interview with Il Sole 24 Ore that both Air France-KLM and Air One have the requirements to go to the binding offer phase. Air France-KLM is favored over Air One for the takeover, writes the FT.

ACEA was up €0.23 to €13.99... Cheuvreux upgrades to selected list from outperform and keeps €16.00 target as confirms positive stance on the company 's business plan. The company says the company does not merit a consolidation premium. Sees highly visible growth in 2006-2009 (11% EBITDA and 8% EPS CAGR) and an undemanding valuation. Despite its more ambitious capex plan, says the company is still cheaper than other Italian local utilities in 2008, trading at 15.9x P/E vs. 17.6x for peers and 7.6x EV/EBITDA vs. 8.4x. In the news: the company could be more interested in having in Italy as a partner Gaz de France than reaching alliance agreements with domestic competitors such as Hera or Iride, according to press reports.

ATLANTIA was up €0.07 to €25.78... Tariff a touch better than estimates - Regulator ANAS has approved the 2008 tariff hikes for Italian motorway concessions. For the company 's Autostrade per l'Italia unit it will amount to a 3.6% increase for 2008, in line with estimates. the company 's US unit, Autostrade International US Holdings, has signed an agreement to purchase 45% of Electronic Transaction Consultants Corporation for US$27 million.

Netherlands

ARCELOR-MITTAL (NL) was up €0.70 to €49.50... Financial woes will not hurt steel demand - CEO - Press reports quote CEO Lakshmi Mittal as saying financial market woes will not hurt steel demand.

PHILIPS (PHG) was up €0.31 to €30.71... ING ups target to €42, keeps buy - ING ups target to €42 from €40, keeps buy, following €5 billion buyback announcement and news that the company plans to sell its (low margin) Set-Top Boxes and Connectivity Solutions activities to the UK's Pace for c.€90 million. The broker welcomes both moves.

Nordic

MOELLER MAERSK was up DKK900.00 to DKK53400.00... SocGen upgrades to hold vs sell - The company says it believes market concerns are fully discounted with the share down 30% from its peak earlier this year.

VOLVO (VOLV) was down SEK2.25 to SEK106.25... November truck deliveries up 21% - Total trucks deliveries in January through November increased by 4% year-over-year to 209,426, meaning deliveries in November rose 21% year-over-year.

Spain

SOGECABLE was up €0.95 to €27.45... Prisa launches bid at EUR 27.98/sh - Prisa launches a bid for the company at €27.98 per share. Prisa says Eventos, owner of a 2.94% stake in the company , has already agreed to sell its shares.

United Kingdom

JOHNSON MATTHEY was up £0.93 to £18.36... Shares up on talk of Dow Chemical interest FT reports on rumours that the company could be a target for Dow Chemical, with its focus on catalysts for the automotive industry.

ITV was up £0.01 to £0.84... CC recommends BSkyB cuts stake The CC is recommending BSkyB reduces its current 17.9% stake in the company to below 7.5%. S&P Eq. Res believes the news helps to remove some of the uncertainty surrounding both companies. Notes the company shares have reacted positively on expectations of a possible sale to another strategic buyer, like RTL.

TULLOW OIL was down £0.22 to £6.28... Disappointing well update - Shares are seen heading lower today after a poor well update, sources say.

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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