Markets & Finance

European Movers: EDF, Sanofi-Aventis, ING


Plus more European stocks making headlines in Tuesday's market

UK

XSTRATA

Up GBP0.15 to GBP38.20

Rejects Vale offer of GBP40/share – FT

According to the FT, Co. has rejected an informal cash and share takeover approach from Brazilian group Vale pitched at just under GBP40/share.

AB FOODS

Up GBP0.23 to GBP8.34

Bernstein upgrades to marketperform from underperform, raises target to GBP8.50 from GBP8.30. Says after 3 troubled years, operating (and stock) performance should improve in 2008/2009. Expects a bounce-back in 2008 and beyond based on improvements from smart historical M&A and an increased focus on higher growth areas of the business (i.e. Primark). Believes that the current 10-15% discount is in-line with where the stock should trade.

FRANCE

AXA

Up EUR 0.67 to EUR 21.66

Buffett news saves the day

Warren Buffett said on CNBC that BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY has offered to take over bond insurers' liabilities. The stock had been in the red: it emerged yesterday that auditors are forcing US insurer AIG to disclose market consistent valuation of all structured products. In further news, AllianceBernstein has disclosed that its assets fell by 6.1% in January, to US$751bn. AllianceBernstein has a 33.4% stake in AllianceBernstein LP - majority owned by Co.

EDF

Up EUR 3.22 to EUR 69.84

Consensus looks for FY07 revenues +0.8% y/y

Ahead of FY07 revenues before market open tomorrow, a Reuters poll looks for sales of EUR 59.41bn, up 0.8% y/y. 9M sales were EUR 42.643bn, down 0.3% y/y, but up 1.4% organic. In broker news, Deutsche Bank lifts target to EUR 50.50, keeping buy. Says Co. offers a unique combination of growth potential and defensiveness. Argues Co. is currently trading at an undeserved discount to the sector, offering an attractive entry point once visibility on acquisition improves.

SANOFI-AVENTIS

Up EUR 0.99 to EUR 52.50

Looks for FY08 EPS to increase 7%

Co. unveils FY07 operating income of EUR 1.873bn, down 1.3% y/y. Net income after minority interests arrives at EUR 1.462bn, up 6.2% y/y. Proposes a dividend of EUR 2.07/share. Co. sees FY08 EPS up 7% at constant EUR/US$ of 1.371. In broker news, Credit Suisse cuts target to EUR 54 from EUR 62, keeps neutral, to reflect the 14% fall in the French market since broker last updated its target price in early January.

BOUYGUES

Up EUR 1.38 to EUR 47.33

FY07 sales tomorrow – preview

With Co.'s FY07 revenues due tomorrow, Citigroup forecasts sales of EUR 8.048bn, adding consensus is for EUR 8.023bn. Sees road building (Colas) revenues up 6.3%, construction up 13.8%, telecoms up 3.8% and Immobilier up 32%.

GERMANY

BILFINGER

Up EUR 4.38 to EUR 45.63

2007 net earnings top expectations

Co. reported a higher-than-expected 2007 net profit of EUR 134m, and proposes a dividend payment of EUR 1.80 per share.

RHEINMETALL Up EUR 1.95 to EUR 47.48... Reports 2007 EBIT of EUR 270m - up 26% y/y and higher than expected. Net profit for the year was EUR 150m, up 22% y/y, and revenues were 10% higher at EUR 4bn. For DZ Bank's comment, see Broker Views & News - Germany.

PFEIFFER VACUUM Up EUR 2.62 to EUR 56.11... Reports 17.6% rise in 2007 core profit to EUR 52.8m. For DZ Bank's positive comment, see Broker Views & News - Germany.

ITALY

EDISON

Down EUR 0.02 to EUR 1.71

FY07 net profit at EUR 497m, down 24%

Co. has disclosed FY07 results with a 24% fall in net profit to EUR 497m from EUR 654m in 2006 when the bottom line was boosted by tax breaks. Says revenues were at EUR 8.276bn, EBITDA at EUR 1.605bn while EBIT came at EUR 896m, up 19.1%. Co. added that would pay a dividend of EUR 0.05 euros per ordinary share in 2007.

FIAT

Up EUR 0.74 to EUR 14.47

Sees no market slowdown – CEO

CEO Sergio Marchionne has said that Co. has seen no slowdown in global demand as a result of the current financial market turmoil. He said during an event held in Turin that he had no bad news, as for Co. things were going well.

PRYSMIAN

Up EUR 0.74 to EUR 13.46

Wins EUR 23.30m contract in Emirates

Co. has been awarded with a EUR 23.3m high tension cable contract from the Emirates Aluminium Company for an installation linked to an aluminium foundry in Abu Dhabi. Says that the deal represents a further development of Co.'s business in a strategic area such as the Middle East.

NETHERLANDS

ING GROEP

Up EUR 0.84 to EUR 20.92

Sal. Oppenheim cuts target to EUR 32 from EUR 37. Reduces earnings outlook. Says Co. has investments of around EUR 3.1bn in ABS collateralized by subprime mortgages and EUR 26.9bn Alt-A exposure via RMBS. Earlier shares fell on rumours that Co. could write-down EUR 6 to 8bn on its US real estate portfolio. An analyst says Co.'s own real estate exposure in the US is EUR 1bn, therefore a EUR 6-8bn write-down seems highly unlikely. Co. does not comment on the rumour and refers to its 2007 results disclosure next week.

KPN

Down EUR 0.04 to EUR 12.86

Tele2 sees loss in Central Europe

Swedish peer Tele2 reports a surprise 4Q EBITDA loss in Central Europe. In other news, speaking at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress, Oracle Corp said that Co. will implement Oracle applications as part of Co.'s efforts to simplify and transform its IT systems and improve customer service.

NORDICS

RENEWABLE ENERGY

Up NOK12.50 to NOK124.00

Core earnings top est / S&P Eq Res downgrades

Co.'s 4Q core earnings rise more than expected, however guides for lower-than-forecast revenues in 2008. EBITDA amounts NOK848m vs NOK821m forecast, operating profit at NOK1.874bn vs NOK1.782bn, PTP at NOK616m vs NOK691m and EPS at NOK0.84/sh vs NOK0.97. Cuts wafer production target with 30 MW to 630 MW. S&P Eq Res downgrades to buy vs strong buy to reflect its more cautious approach as it believes the negative newsflow in the past two months will make investors more focused, limiting the upside potential in the next few months. Puts target price under review.

TELE2

Down SEK5.00 to SEK116.50

4Q EBITDA disappoints

Co. delivers weaker-than-forecast 4Q earnings with EBITDA at SEK1.56bn vs SEK1.70bn seen in a Reuters poll, corresponding to an EBITDA margin at 15% vs 16% forecast. 4Q sales amounts to SEK10.447bn vs SEK10.486bn forecast. Co. plans a 10% share buyback programme and proposes dividend of SEK3.15/sh a special dividend payout of SEK4.70/sh.

NOKIA

Up EUR 1.05 to EUR 25.70

Google integrated in phones

Co. and Google have signed a deal where Google's search engine will be integrated into a range of Co.'s phones. Initially the application will be provided on four new multimedia phones.

SPAIN

IBERDROLA RENOVABLES

Up EUR 0.04 to EUR 4.66

Broker action / Romania wind deal

Merrill Lynch initiates with neutral. Says Co. is the leading global onshore wind farm owner and operator by installed capacity. Believes recent regulatory documents (UK Energy Bill, EU ETS Phase 3 proposals) will translate into further support from governments for renewable energy. Co. says it has signed a contract to buy c.50 wind projects totalling 1,600 MW of capacity in Romania. Adds the total price will be EUR 200m-EUR 300m.

SWITZERLAND

CS GROUP

Up CHF1.40 to CHF57.50

4Q/FY results

Co. reported 2007 net profit of CHF8.5bn, above the level of CHF8.2bn mentioned in Sonntag ahead of the results. Income from continuing operations for 4Q was CHF1.3bn, below Bloomberg's consensus of CHF1.43bn. Net revenues reflected net writedowns in the leveraged finance and structured products businesses of CHF1.3 billion in 4Q07. Asset management suffered from a CHF774m write-down on positions. Co. proposes an increased cash dividend of CHF2.50 per share for 2007. Brokers are generally pleased that the negative surprises were contained, and also welcome the net new assets in Wealth Management of CHF12bn. Landsbanki Kepler says, though, that it looks as if 2008 could see further write-downs unless markets recover quickly.


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