From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope
ACCOR rose €1.32 to €43.57 Monday. The company will appoint Gilles Pelisson as CEO, according to Journal du Dimanche. The company will hold a board meeting Monday evening, with the aim of nominating a new CEO. There are talks of a rift between board members, with shareholder banks being in favor of Cap Gemini's former COO Pierre Danon. In the meantime, Cap Gemini has dismissed Danon, with immediate effect, following press and market speculation that he was interested in the top job at Accor.
CAP GEMINI fell €0.40 to €30.90. The company dismissed COO Pierre Danon, with immediate effect. The sacking follows considerable press and market speculation regarding his interest in the top job at Accor. There are no immediate plans to replace him, and no detail on reallocation of responsibilities. CSFB retains its neutral rating on Cap Gemini and its numbers remain unchanged. JP Morgan reiterates its overweight rating on the company, with a €42 price target. The shares remain on JP Morgan's Analyst Focus List.
AXA (AXA) gained €0.13 to €22.49. Generali's CEO Persinotto has said the Italian insurer is not interested in merging with the company, adding that the merged entity would be too big, according to La Repubblica.
DEUTSCHE BOERSE was up €0.68 to €78.57. The company's board confirmed Reto Francioni as new CEO from earliest possible date. Also, Kurt Viermetz is the new head of the supervisory board.
VW fell €1.04 to €48.74. Merck Finck notes that Monday's supervisory board meeting will be the first one under the new situation with major shareholder Porsche. Porsche is likely to get two seats on the board. The broker notes that, according to press reports, Piech will remain chairman of the supervisory board, despite a conflict of interest (supervisory board member and shareholder of Porsche). The broker says it would have preferred that Piech left the board, but says his stay has no impact on its view of VW stock, which it rates hold. In other news: VW brand sales rose 3.5% in September. Separately, CEO Pischetsrieder said he will help Porsche gain a further 3.4% stake in the company, according to a report in Der Spiegel.
DAIMLERCHRYSLER (DCX) fell €0.68 to €42.62. The carmaker is recalling 256,000 Daimler vehicles to fix automatic transmission problems. In Focus Magazine, the company says it is aiming for profit of €1 billion from its S Class Mercedes model. It is aiming for 90,000 sales of S-Class by 2007.
MORPHOSYS rose €1.56 to €40.00. The company has started 3 new antibody programmes with Schering. No financial terms were disclosed.
GENERALI gained €0.13 to €25.61. The company's CEO Persinotto has said the company is not interested in merging with France's Axa, saying that the merged entity would be too big, according to La Repubblica.
UNICREDIT was up €0.02 to €4.57. The company has extended its takeover offer for Germany's HVB by 2 weeks until Oct. 24. The minimum acceptance level for the deal is 65%. According to Il Sole 24 Ore, 17.5% of shares have been tendered, as well as 18% by Munich Re and 4% by the foundation.
VERSATEL rose €0.05 to €2.22. The shares will resume trading Monday after being suspended on Friday as the offer by Tele2 ended. Tele2 confirms its offer for the company is now unconditional, and says it has already secured 74% of the company's outstanding share capital and 100% of the issued and outstanding bonds.
MITTAL STEEL gained €0.09 to €21.84. The company will invest US$9 billion in a steel plant in eastern India.
CRUCELL added €1.66 to €24.77. Merck is exercising its option to use the company's PER.C6 gene technology. the company will receive a US$1 million exercise fee with the prospect of annual fees and milestone payments, plus royalties on net sales.
NOKIA (NOK) gained €0.10 to €13.86. The strength of demand for mobile phones this year will continue into 2006, according to Jorma Ollila, the company's outgoing chief executive, cited in Monday's FT.
ERICSSON (ERICY) added SEK0.10 to SEK28.10. The company is is in discussions with Marconi's advisers over a possible deal to buy the group, according to the FT. The paper notes Marconi has been talking with a wide number of companies over a possible sale or a strategic partnership since August.
TDC was down DKK1.00 to DKK346.00. The Fitch rating agency put TDC's senior unsecured BBB+ rating on Watch Negative, following an announcement by management that it would investigate the interest received from private equity investors.
ORION was up €1.01 to €19.45. The company plans a split into two groups. One group concentrating on pharma and diagnostics would be part of the new Orion, while the pharma wholesale business would be part of a new group called Oriola-KD. The two groups will be listed in Helsinki. Plans have been outlined by the company's board and a decision is expected by Dec. 19.
FERROVIAL gained €0.40 to €66.50. The company's order book is up 5.9% through August. The backlog stood at €6.89 billion at month's end. Separately, the company remains in play, along with sector peers as bids for handling services in Spanish airports are opened for competition Monday. Current players are Iberia, Acciona, and FCC, but now the company and ACS are entering the market.
IBERIA was up €0.01 to €2.19. The company plans to lay off between 1,500 and 2,500 employees according to its 2006-2008 strategic plan, Cinco Dias reports, quoting the company sources.
REUTERS (RTRSY) added £0.08 to £3.75. CSFB reiterates its outperform rating and £6.20 target price, ahead of the company's trading statement on Oct. 27. The broker says the continued improvement in leading indicators supports its above-consensus forecast of 1.9% underlying recurring revenue growth in the third quarter (vs. the consensus estimate of 1.5%). The firm expects this to be the first positive catalyst to drive stock performance.
ANTOFAGASTA HOLDING rose £0.42 to £15.04. The rally in copper prices continues for a fifth consecutive day in London after smelters closed in Zambia and the U.S. The LME says stockpiles are lower for the eighth day in a row.
WPP rose £0.13 to £5.69. Citigroup upgraded the shares to buy from hold, with a target price of £6.45.
PARTY GAMING fell £0.09 to £0.71 on after Empire Online's CEO said the online gaming market as a whole has remained flattish in the third quarter. Empire said it had outperformed the market in the quarter. The company will launch a new fully integrated operating platform, offering a variety of different games but with a common systems architecture allowing each of its 9 million registered PartyPoker customers to use a single account and a shared purse across the company's gaming brands.
AEGIS was up £0.00 to £1.43. French corporate raider Vincent Bollore has increased his stake in the company to 14.06%. Bollore is believed to be preparing to raise his stake in the company to almost 20%, says The Sunday Times. Prepared by Zaida Espana (France), Michael Sanderson (Germany), Mariella Mongio (Italy), Alexander Wisch (Netherlands), Holly Cook (Nordic), Emma Stevenson (Spain), Pawan Girglani (Switzerland), and Rocio Opazo-Aniotz (UK)