ABN Amro, Air France-KLM, BASF, Fiat: European Equity Preview

February 8, 2005 by  

rise or fall in European markets. Prices are from the local markets’ close Feb. 4. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.

The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index rose 0.9 percent to 261.92, bringing last week’s gain to 2.7 percent. The Stoxx 50 advanced 1 percent to 2873.96 and the Euro Stoxx 50, a benchmark for the 12 countries using the euro, added 0.9 percent to 3037.13.

ABN Amro Holding NV (AABA NA): The biggest Dutch bank may say fourth-quarter profit increased 34 percent to 1.15 billion euros ($1.49 billion) from a year earlier, based on the median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News, as ABN Amro company booked a gain from the sale of its car-leasing business and set aside less money to cover risky loans. The stock lost 14 cents, or 0.7 percent, to 20.83 euros.

ABN Amro Holding NV (AABA NA): The biggest Dutch bank may say fourth-quarter profit increased 34 percent to 1.15 billion euros ($1.49 billion) from a year earlier, based on the median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News, as ABN Amro company booked a gain from the sale of its car-leasing business and set aside less money to cover risky loans. The stock lost 14 cents, or 0.7 percent, to 20.83 euros.

Air France-KLM Group (AF FP): Europe’s largest airline is scheduled to release January passenger and cargo traffic figures. The shares gained 29 cents, or 2 percent, to 14.50 euros.

Banca Antonveneta SpA (NTV IM): Ennio Doris, chief executive officer of Mediolanum SpA, favors a merger between Antonveneta and Banca Popolare di Lodi Scrl, newspaper Il Sole/24 reported on Feb. 5. Doris is a shareholder in Delta Erre, which has a 10.3 percent stake in Antonveneta, according to Il Sole. Doris also sees “no obstacles” to Delta Erre raising its stake in Antonveneta, Il Sole said. Antonveneta lost 4 cents, or 0.2 percent, to 20.66 euros. Popolare di Lodi (PLO IM), an Italian cooperative bank, rose 5.9 cents, or 0.7 percent, to 8.81 euros.

Banco Popular Espanol SA (POP SM): The bank may consider acquisitions in Spain and Portugal if they add “value” and competitive advantage, Chairman Angel Ron said in an interview with Spanish newswire Efe. Popular would only consider any transaction if it is in charge, Efe reported. Shares of Popular, Spain’s third-largest bank, advanced 15 cents, or 0.3 percent, to 50.60 euros.

BASF (BAS GY): The world’s biggest chemicals maker together with Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Europe’s second-largest oil company, received three bids for their Basell NV venture of as much as 4.4 billion euros, the Financial Times reported, without citing anyone. BASF shares rose 70 cents, or 1.3 percent, to 53.70 euros. Shell Transport & Trading Co. (SHEL LN), which owns 40 percent of Royal Dutch/Shell, added 12.75 pence, or 2.7 percent, to 484.5 pence. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. (RDA NA), owner of the rest, gained 24 cents, or 0.5 percent, to 45.81 euros.

British American Tobacco Plc (BATS LN): The world’s second- largest cigarette maker may gain after an appeals court ruled Altria Group Inc.’s Philip Morris USA and other U.S. cigarette makers can’t be forced to forfeit $280 billion in past profits as the U.S. government demanded in a civil racketeering lawsuit. Defendants included British American Tobacco’s British American Tobacco (Investments) Ltd. The shares rose 8 pence, or 0.9 percent, to 942.5 pence.

Business Objects SA (BOB FP): The world’s largest maker of software to track corporate databases reports fourth quarter earnings after the U.S. and French stock markets close. The shares rose 29 cents, or 1.6 percent, to 18.68 euros in Paris.

Carrefour SA (CA FP): Europe’s largest retailer named Guy Yraeta, Javier Campo and two other executives to work with Chief Executive Jose Luis Duran on its top management committee after ousting Daniel Bernard on Thursday chairman.

The company plans to stay independent and will focus on increasing sales in the markets in which it already operates rather than entering new ones, said Jean-Pierre Rousse, confirming comments by Chairman Luc Vandevelde in the London-based Sunday Times. The shares rose 46 cents, or 1.1 percent, to 40.7 euros.

Comdirect Bank AG (COM GY): Germany’s largest online broker may say that it executed more trades for clients in January than in December. Trading on German stock exchanges rose 10 percent in January from the previous month, according to Deutsche Boerse AG statistics. The shares fell 3 cents, or 0.4 percent, to 7.27 euros.

Deutsche Bank AG (DBK GY): Europe’s third-biggest bank by assets plans to locate a “substantial part” of the 1,200 jobs it’s creating in lower-cost sites in Germany, said Hermann-Josef Lamberti, a member of the management board. The shares rose 1.67 euros, or 2.5 percent, to 68.55 euros.

ENI SpA (ENI IM): Italy’s largest oil company is the subject of a probe by the country’s antitrust authority, the regulator said in an e-mailed statement. ENI and its Tunisia Pipeline Company unit are being investigated for “the abuse of dominance” in gas imports, the Rome-based regulator said. The investigation was opened on Jan. 27. ENI rose 47 cents, or 2.5 percent, to 19.15 euros.

European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. (EAD FP) and BAE Systems Plc (BA/ LN): Shares of the companies that own Airbus SAS may fall after Boeing Co. won an order from Japan Airlines Corp. for 30 737 models worth $1.5 billion. Airbus SAS, which has topped Boeing in aircraft deliveries worldwide for two straight years, lost the competition with its A320 model. The shares of European Aeronautic added 1 cent to 23.23. BAE gained 1 euro to 249.25.

Fiat SpA (F IM): Italy’s largest manufacturer plans to exercise an option to sell a stake worth about 1 billion euros in Edison SpA to Electricite de France SA. “We’ll do it soon,” Fiat Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said, responding to a Bloomberg reporter on Feb. 5. EDF is fighting attempts to have it buy the stock because Italy’s government has limited the company to voting just 2 percent of Edison’s shares.

Fiat climbed 12 cents, or 2.1 percent, to 5.93 euros. Shares of Edison (EDN IM), Italy’s second-largest power company, were unchanged at 1.53 euros.

Fjord Seafood ASA (FJO NO) and Pan Fish ASA (PAN NO): The Norwegian fish farmers may move after the European Union said on Friday that it will impose minimum prices on imports of farmed salmon to protect producers in the U.K. and Ireland, saying quotas alone aren’t sufficient. Most EU salmon imports come from Norway. Fjord’s shares lost 0.03 krone, or 1 percent, to 2.95 kroner, while Pan Fish was unchanged at 1.8 kroner.

Fraport AG (FRA GR): Lima Airport Partners, a group led by the owner of Frankfurt Airport, is investing $1.2 billion in runways, terminals and security as it seeks to turn Peru’s capital into a regional hub serving 7 million passengers a year by 2008. The group is talking with United Airlines, Inc., and US Airways, Inc., to use Lima for flights to the region, Chief Executive Jaime Daly said. The shares rose 10 cents to 29.65.

Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica SA (GAM SM): The Spanish maker of wind-energy turbines is focusing on organic growth and isn’t “purposefully” looking for merger partners for its wind-energy business, CEO Juan Ignacio Lopez Gandasegui told Die Welt. The stock added 4 cents, or 0.4 percent, to 10.89 euros.

Hochtief AG (HOT GY): Schroders Plc, the U.K.’s second- largest publicly traded asset manager by market value, raised its stake in Hochtief to 5.16 percent, according to a mandatory notice in Boersen-Zeitung. Hochtief, Germany’s largest builder, fell 4 cents, or 0.2 percent, to 25.01 euros.

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (MC FP): The world’s largest luxury goods maker, said it won 200,000 euros in damages from Internet company Google Inc. for providing links to Web sites selling counterfeit goods. A French court awarded LVMH’s Louis Vuitton fashion unit 100,000 euros for acts of counterfeiting and 100,000 euros for false advertising, Olivier Labesse, a spokesman for Paris-based LVMH said. Alexandra Neri, Google’s defense lawyer, called the ruling “provisory” and said the company will consider an appeal after examining the decision in detail. LVMH shares fell 20 cents, or 0.4 percent, to 54.4 euros.

Puma AG (PUM GY): The German sporting-goods maker known for its leaping-cat logo may say fourth-quarter profit advanced 24 percent to 31 million euros, as more shoppers bought the company’s shoes and clothes, according to the median estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The shares added 3.25 euros, or 1.7 percent, to 190.

Sanofi-Aventis SA (SAN FP): Shares of the world’s No. 3 drugmaker may move after Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. sued the U.S. the Food and Drug Administration for the right to market the first copy of the French drugmaker’s Allegra-D allergy drug. Sanofi- Aventis rose 35 cents to 57.4 euros.

Siemens AG (SEI GY): CEO Klaus Kleinfeld doesn’t rule out a sale of the company’s mobile-phone unit, Welt am Sonntag reported. “All options are open,” he told the newspaper. The shares rose 57 cents, or 1 percent, to 60.18 euros.

Swisscom AG (SCMN VX): The biggest phone company in Switzerland bid for Cesky Telecom AS, the Czech Republic’s biggest phone company, a spokesman for the former Swiss phone monopoly said. Swisscom would pay for the acquisition with borrowed funds because it wants to return 3 billion francs ($2.48 billion) to its shareholders through dividends and a share buyback, Chief Executive Jens Alder said in an interview with bi-weekly Finanz und Wirtschaft. He added that the company, which has no debt, could afford net debt of as much as 10 billion francs. The shares rose 4.50 francs, or 1 percent, to 450.50 francs.

Swiss International Air Lines Ltd. (SWIN SW): The airline plans to cut regional pilot numbers to 207 from 440, according to a internal strategy paper, weekly SonntagsZeitung said, without saying how it got the information. The shares fell 1 centime, or 0.1 percent, to 9.08 francs.

Tandberg Television ASA (TAT NO): The Norwegian maker of digital broadcasting equipment is set to release its fourth- quarter earnings report. The company said it expects to report fourth-quarter pretax profit of 55 million kroner ($8.5 million). Analysts polled by the news service TDN Finans had expected profit by that measure of 53 million kroner. The stock surged 9.5 kroner, or 15 percent, to 75 kroner.

Temenos Group AG (TEMN SW): The Swiss software house whose clients include the European Commission and Credit Suisse Group, expects orders to rise by 30 percent this year, Chief Executive Officer Andreas Andreades told bi-weekly Finanz und Wirtschaft in an interview. The shares rose 18 centimes, or 2.3 percent, to 8.19 francs.

Unaxis Holding AG (UNAX VX): Europe’s third biggest maker of semiconductor isn’t for sale, interim Chief Executive Officer Harald Eggers said in an interview with bi-weekly Finanz & Wirtschaft. Eggers, who became CEO in November after Heinz Kundert resigned, denied speculation the company was in talks with U.S. private equity investors, the report said. The shares rose 2.40 francs, or 1.8 percent, to 136.40 francs.

Unibail SA (UL FP): Continental Europe’s largest property company may have its long-term credit rating cut by Standard & Poor’s on concern that a 225 million-euro ($290 million) purchase of exhibition organizer Exposium will increase the company’s debt. The shares gained 1 cent to 94.9.

Walter Bau AG (WTB GR): Eleven units of Germany’s third- largest builder filed for insolvency after Walter Bau this week filed for bankruptcy protection, Reuters said. WDE Walter Dywidag Engineering GmbH and Ausbau Grossenhain GmbH are among the divisions that filed for insolvency, affecting about 500 employees, Reuters said Feb. 4, citing an unidentified Walter Bau spokesman. Walter Bau has about 50 units, Reuters said.

Wincor Nixdorf AG (WIN GY): CEO Karl-Heinz Stiller expects revenue to grow 6 percent and profits to rise 8 percent a year in the long term, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung reported. The shares fell 31 cents, or 0.5 percent, to 64.69 euros.


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