Plus: Statoil, Tom Tom, Iberia and other European companies making headlines Wednesday
From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope
BRITISH ENERGY was down £0.32 to £5.38. Britain is planning to sell 25% of its 64% stake in the company. The net proceeds from the sale will go to the NLF, helping to ensure that it is better placed to meet obligations in regarding the decommissioning costs of nuclear power stations.
GLAXOSMITHKLINE (GSK) was up £0.22 to £13.28. Merrill downgraded the company to sell from neutral on an unattractive risk reward profile. Although the broker concurs with broad opinion that Avandia cardiovascular safety concerns published in the New England Journal of Medicine are scientifically questionable, it expects the resultant publicity to further negatively hit Avandia sales and the shares.
GAZ DE FRANCE was up €0.10 to €37.40. Suez (SZE) has proposed to the French government that it makes a bid for the company to complete their postponed €43 billion merger, Le Figaro reported.
BNP-PARIBAS was down €0.37 to €90.58. An executive in the Shanghai office of the company bribed a senior government official in the capital in order to win business underwriting Chinese sovereign bonds, according to the Beijing city prosecutor's office, the FT reported.
SOC GEN was down €1.18 to €144.02. The company isn't in talks with Unicredit or BNP Paribas, CEO Daniel Bouton told La Tribune. The company said a major operation for the company isn't 'necessary or urgent'. It expects revenue growth of 4% this year for the company's retail-banking business in France, which he says is a 'slight slowdown' from previous years.
DEUTSCHE TELEKOM (DT) was up €0.12 to €13.77. CFO Eick reportedly said that there are no plans to sell T-Mobile USA, the company's most important growth and value driver. Merck Finck thinks this statement should stop market rumors, which were inspired by the takeover of Alltel.
BMW was down €0.72 to €49.88. Ford denied that it is in talks to sell Volvo with any parties, including the company, but is continuing to weigh strategic options for its portfolio of assets.
AIR BERLIN was down €0.87 to €17.40. The company reported a higher-than-expected first quarter EBIT loss of €60.7 million against €57.8 million core earnings in the red for the same quarter a year ago. Quarterly revenues were €373.1 million, a two-thirds increase year-over-year.
IMPREGILO was up €0.02 to €6.65. Savings shares rallied another 1.63%. F&M reported that the recent strong rally in the company's saving shares is tied to speculation that in the event of a merger with Astaldi, the company's saving shares could be either converted into ordinary shares or de-listed.
TOMTOM was up €1.13 to €33.15. Goldman Sachs initiated coverage of the company with a buy rating and target of €40. It believes navigation systems are set to become 'must have' rather than merely 'nice to have products' as predictive and real-time traffic information allows users to find the most efficient route even on familiar journeys.
LOGICACMG was up €0.09 to €2.46. Private Equity firm Permira is investigating the possibility of launching a takeover bid for the company, according to The Times.
STATOIL was down NOK3.50 to NOK163.00. The company said first quarter net income came in lower mainly due to 11% lower oil and 14% lower gas prices.
OMX was up SEK14.00 to SEK227.00. WestLB downgraded the company to hold vs. add. The broker put its SEK208 target under review.
IBERIA was up €0.01 to €3.97. TPG has pulled out of a bid for Alitalia. TPG is also heading up a consortium to bid for the company. The company is scheduled to hold a news conference at 08:45 GMT ahead of its AGM.
FCC was down €2.00 to €73.00. Realia, the real estate joint venture between the company and Caja Madrid, has fixed a maximum IPO price of €8.80. This represents the middle of the previously indicated range of €7.90-€9.70.
NOVARTIS (NVS) was up CHF0.23 to CHF68.85. A US federal court judge has extended a temporary restraining order stopping Teva (TEVA) from shipping any further supplies of the generic version of high blood pressure medicine Lotrel. The company said the order was extended until a court ruling has been made on an earlier preliminary injunction to block Teva from selling generic copies of Lotrel.