Markets & Finance

European Movers: Carrefour, Akzo Nobel, UBS


Plus more European stocks making headlines in Thursday's market

UK

REUTERS

Down GBP0.15 to GBP5.78

FY07 numbers beat expectations

Publishes FY07 revenue of GBP2.605bn, +7% (underlying) and 1.5% on an actual basis. Says trading profit was GBP385m, +43% underlying; trading margin 14.8% (vs guidance of 13%-14%); op profit GBP292m, +14%; adj EPS 23p, +35%; basic EPS 18.4p, -22%. Raises second interim DPS to 7p. says early indications for 2008 are encouraging despite the uncertain market environment, with strong sales momentum reflecting the robustness of the business mix. Expects underlying revenue growth in 1Q08 to be around 9%.

INTERNATIONAL POWER

Up GBP0.11 to GBP3.72

FY profit at top end, sees growth in '08

Unveils FY profit from operations of GBP904m, +17%; EPS 27.1p, +21%; DPS 10.16p, +29%. Says for 2008 has forward contracted 70% of expected merchant CCGT output in Texas, 90% in New England and 95% of expected output at Coleto Creek. Expects 2008 to be another year of growth. Analysts had forecast profit from ops at between GBP881m and GBP908m, EPS 27.0p, and DPS of 10.1p.

BRITISH AIRWAYS

Down GBP0.20 to GBP2.45

CEO Walsh says interested in bmi

CEO Willie Walsh reportedly says is interested in rival airline bmi. Unlisted bmi is 30% owned by Germany's Lufthansa and 20% by SAS. Co. says it expects FY08/09 revenue to increase by 4%-4.5% to over GBP9.1bn, based on capacity measured in available seat kilometers (ASKs) up 2.4%. Sees fuel costs to rise by some GBP450m to GBP2.5bn, +20%, while non-fuel costs should rise 3%-3.5%, bringing total costs, ex-fuel up GBP200m. Forecasts op margin of about 7%. Says the outlook is consistent with economic slowdown, the impact of increased fuel costs and one-off Terminal 5 transition costs, all of which analysts have already factored in to their expectations.

ARRIVA

Down GBP0.14 to GBP6.74

Profits hit by fuel, UK rail bid

Reports FY revenue of GBP2bn, +16%; op profit GBP128m, +7%, hit by increased fuel prices and the cost of three UK rail bids; EBITDA from cont ops GBP249.2m, +7%; adj EPS 46.5p, +5%. Says group order book rose 79% to GBP12bn. Raises final dividend by 10% to 17.06p. Adds the year has started well and Co. is on track to meet target of doubling the size of mainland European business from its 2006 level by 2011.

FRANCE

CARREFOUR

Up EUR 1.90 to EUR 48.34

Arnault/Colony to become top shareholder

Bernard Arnault and Colony Capital said they will become Co.'s leading shareholder through their joint vehicle Blue Capital on 15 April, after members of the Halley family voted to scrap a pact that gives them control of more than 10% of Co. In results news, Co. posts FY07 net sales of EUR 82.148bn, up 6.8%; Activity Contribution before Depreciation and Amortisation of EUR 5.014bn, up 5.8%; net income from recurring operations of EUR 1.868bn, up 0.7% and net att income of EUR 2.299bn, up 1.4%. Expects 2008 sales growth of 6% to 8% and an increase in Activity Contribution faster than sales. This growth, together with better capital allocation, should lead to op. FCF of EUR 1.5bn and an increase in group ROCE.

AIR FRANCE-KLM

Down EUR 1.04 to EUR 16.51

Berlusconi doesn't rule out Co. as possible buyer

Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister running for election in April, said he'd prefer Alitalia to be bought by Italian investors but did not exclude a potential sale to Co., stating that `a public company like Co. buying [Alitalia] would also be possible.'

NATIXIS

Down EUR 0.48 to EUR 9.37

Posts 4Q net loss of EUR 900m

Co. unveils 4Q net loss of EUR 900m (vs net profit of EUR 364m y/y). This impacts on FY07 net profit, which comes in at EUR 1.101bn, down 48% y/y; gross operating income is EUR 902m, down 61% y/y. Unveils FY07 asset writedowns of EUR 1.22bn, saying these are 'exceptional' and related to the financial crisis. Co. says its capital structure is 'very strong', with tier one ratio of 8.3%. Proposes DPS of EUR 0.45. Looking ahead, Co. exec-chairman Philippe Dupont says 'development of synergies linked to the merger is ahead of schedule, and new ways to improve efficiency are being looked into.'

GERMANY

E.ON

Up EUR 1.53 to EUR 123.33

FY core earnings top expectations

Co. reported 2007 adjusted EBIT of EUR 9.21bn vs estimates of EUR 9.1bn. Sales came in at EUR 70.8bn, in line with estimates. Co. forecasts operating profit 5-10% higher this year and proposes a 1-3 share split.

DEUTSCHE POST

Up EUR 0.23 to EUR 22.03

Says year started well as 4Q EBIT tops expectations

Co. posted 4Q EBIT, excluding one-off effects, of EUR 1.33bn. Including one-off effects, core earnings for the quarter were a higher-than-expected EUR 660m. Quarterly revenues of EUR 16.97bn also top expectations. Co. repeated its EBIT guidance for 2008 and 2009. It sees 2008 pretax profit of some EUR 3.2bn. It said it is close to a solution for its loss-making US express delivery business.

ITALY

ENEL

Up EUR 0.04 to EUR 7.08

Could plan spin-off of renewable energy assets- press

Co. could plan to spin off its renewable energy assets into a separate group, according to MF. Explains that Co. could either transfer to the new group all its hydroelectric, wind and solar energy assets; or transfer only part of the assets. The paper also writes that Co. will increase its planned investments in renewables when it releases its 2008-2010 business plan on 13 March. Meanwhile, Finanza e Mercati said that Co. is part of a consortium of six companies which plans to build and develop two nuclear reactors in Romania. Says the project is worth EUR 2.2bn. Co. has announced that it currently holds 59.80% of the share capital of Russian power generation group OGK-5 following the completion of its mandatory public tender offer. Says Co. was offered about EUR 0.121 per share. Adds that it made the offer via its Enel Investment Holding subsidiary.

NETHERLANDS

AKZO NOBEL

Up EUR 4.34 to EUR 52.19

4Q EBIT higher than expected at EUR 174m (from continuing operations excluding extraordinary items), up 43% y/y. Co. proposes to increase its dividend payment to EUR 1.80 per share, up from EUR 1.20 last time.

AEGON

Down EUR 0.56 to EUR 9.25

New business value falls below expectations

Co. reports 4Q net income of EUR 648m, higher than the expected EUR 554m. Quarterly EPS is at EUR 40 vs an expected EUR 34. Net operating earnings is at EUR 484m. Value of new business is at EUR 226m, slightly lower than expected. Subprime ABS protfolio is at EUR 2.5bn

AHOLD

Up EUR 0.27 to EUR 9.11

4Q net profit tops expectations - coming in some 9% higher y/y at EUR 262m. Co. proposes to pay its first dividend in five years, namely EUR 0.16 per share.

NORDIC

SWEDBANK

Down SEK3.00 to SEK162.00

CEO sees increased credit losses / Latvian slowdown

CEO Jan Liden reiterated at yesterday's CMD that Co. expects increased credit losses ahead, without mentioning any sum. However, Linden said he expects Co.'s profits before credit losses to increase, Reuters reports. The Latvian PM says the country's economy may need further help and Latvian banks look set for a rise in bad loans, Cheuvreux points out.

SPAIN

GAMESA

Up EUR 1.08 to EUR 28.30

Citigroup upgrades to buy from hold and raises target to EUR 38 from EUR 28.50. From a top-down perspective, says increasing social/political support, government subsidies, energy demand and cost competitiveness should bolster wind energy growth (estimates 15% CAGR 2008-20). From a bottom-up perspective, sees Co. as extremely well positioned to take advantage of wind growth, as it has secured long-term contracts with leading utility firms in the areas of greatest potential.

BBVA

Down EUR 0.34 to EUR 13.09

Chairman met sovereign funds / Broker action

Co.'s chairman Francisco Gonzalez travelled to the UAE in mid-February to meet with several sovereign wealth funds that are interested in investing in Co., El Confidencial reports. Cheuvreux cuts target price to EUR 17.90 vs EUR 19.20. See Special Studies - Sector - Spanish banks, or Sector Insight.

SWITZERLAND

UBS

Down CHF1.50 to CHF30.74

Pimco denies buying risky investments of Co.

Co. comes under pressure amid talk that it has sold a large portfolio of risky mortgages at a deep discount, with the likelihood of a big writedown to be announced with its 1Q results. Reuters reports that according to CNBC, Pimco denies rumours that it has bought US$24bn in Co.'s Alt-A Investments. On the broker front, JP Morgan cuts target to CHF55 from CHF56 as it sticks to overweight.

TECAN

Up CHF1.60 to CHF62.50

Reports FY07 net profit of CHF52.4m - ahead of expectations - on sales of CHF414.4m.


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