Plus: Ahold, SAS, Astrazeneca and other European companies making headlines Wednesday
From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope
MICHAEL PAGE was up £0.16 to £5.63. Deutsche upped its target to £6.26 from £5.85 and recommended a buy rating.
BIFFA was down £0.23 to £3.28. The company expects to deliver 2006/7 revenues and profits towards the lower end of market expectations. It believes that it is well positioned to deliver growth in revenue and profits in 2007/8 and beyond.
SCOR was up €0.45 to €21.45. Following better-than-expected fiscal 2006 results, Cheuvreux upgraded the company to outperform from underperform and lifted its target to €25 from €24.
CARREFOUR was up €1.91 to €57.67. Colony Capital's founder Thomas Barrack said he wants the company to raise as much as €30 billion from property sales, more than what the company says its real-estate assets are worth, Bloomberg reported.
LUFTHANSA was up €0.68 to €21.40. The UK's BMI is seeking an Open Skies alliance with United Airlines (UAUA), according to The Times. The move would effectively merge these two Star Alliance members' trans-Atlantic operations.
DAIMLERCHRYSLER (DCX) was down €0.85 to €61.15. The company confirmed that it is in talks with partners for Chrysler and reiterated that all options are open for the unit.
ASTRAZENECA (AZN) was down SEK1.00 to SEK376.50. The company could lose 38% of its revenue because key drug patents will expire in the next five years, according to research by Prudential Equity Group and AXA Framlington, The Times reported.
SANTANDER was up €0.12 to €13.74. Traders noted talk that Royal Bank of Scotland is interested in Dutch bank ABN Amro (ABN). They noted that the rumor has been doing the rounds after a report that Goldman Sachs (GS) has apparently withdrawn as ING's (ING) adviser so it can advise another bank that may be preparing a bid for ABN Amro.
ENI was down €0.07 to €24.13. The company and Enel have announced that they have acquired around US$5.8 billion of Yukos assets, through EniNeftegaz (60% the company and 40% Enel). The assets acquired include: 100% of OAO Arctic Gas Company, 100% of ZAO Urengoil Inc., 100% of OAO Neftegaztechnologia, and 20% of OAO GazpromNeft.
GIVAUDAN was down CHF3.00 to CHF1141.00. First quarter sales topped expectations - coming in 18% higher year-over-year at CHF890 million amid solid organic growth and the inclusion of results from Quest International as of March this year.
AHOLD was up €0.31 to €9.22. Traders noted that shares are rising on the back of rumors that a private equity firm could be interested in the company.