Plus:Telenor, Ahold, Unicredit and other European companies making headlines Thursday
From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope
NEXT was up £1.40 to £22.36. Panmure upgraded the company to buy vs. and raised its target to £25.00. Merrill reiterated its buy with a target of £21.
STANDARD LIFE was unchanged at £3.07. The company posted fiscal EEV operating profit pre-tax of £614 million, +55%; the new business pre-tax contribution was £205 million, +521%; IFRS underlying pretax profit was £540 million (2005: 145 million).
EIFFAGE was up €12.59 to €97.79. The company's shares surged. The FT mentioned two rumors circulating: Sacyr is preparing to sell its Repsol (REP) shares to fund a bid and Vinci could also be preparing to mount a bid for Eiffage.
DEXIA was up €0.93 to €22.59. ING (ING) has hired Goldman Sachs (GS) and JP Morgan (JPM) for a strategic re-orientation as it seeks a partner in the Benelux area.
DAIMLERCHRYSLER (DCX) was up €1.37 to €58.37. Chrysler's Chief Executive Tom LaSorda said that whether or not a sale will take place will be resolved quickly, according to the WSJ.
UNICREDIT was up €0.33 to €7.14. The company has confirmed that it will ask the board for approval of a capital increase, dedicated to acquisitions.
PHILIPS (PHG) was up €0.44 to €29.36. The company announced a partnership with crystal and jewelry company Swarovski to develop new market opportunities for each company by integrating high fashion and technology.
AHOLD was up €0.03 to €8.22. The company reported fourth quarter operating income of €199 million. Net profit for the quarter came in at €240 million.
TELENOR was down NOK2.50 to NOK115.00. The company cut its earnings and revenue forecast for 2007, as it will temporarily de-consolidate Ukrainian Kyivstar, co-owned with Russian Alfa, in its earnings statement.
LUNDIN OIL was up SEK4.00 to SEK82.25. The company will spin-off businesses in Norway and the UK and will seek to list Viking, the Norwegian unit, by the end of the second quarter, according to Reuters.
IBERIA was down €0.01 to €3.69. In an interview with Bloomberg, Lufthansa's CFO Stephan Gemkow said the German firm would be forsaking its duty if it did not look at the company.