Plus: Wm. Morrison, Danone, Heineken, and other European stocks making headlines Thursday
VODAFONE (VOD) was up £0.03 to £1.62... KPIs at top end of expectations - posted first quarter revenue of £8.3 billion, +7.5% and organic growth of 4.0%; prop organic net mobile additions 9.1 million; mobile customers at 30 June 232 million. Service revs in Spain (+12.5% vs cons 10% -11%); Italy -3.1% (cons. -5%); Germany (-6.3%); UK (4.9%). The company reiterates current year outlook and expects revenue to be in the range of £33.3 billion to £34.1 billion. Anticipates depreciation and amortisation charges to be £5.8 billion to £5.9 billion higher than 2007 due to Vodafone Essar buy.
MORRISON WM was up £0.12 to £3.28... like-for-likes below ests, bid talk returns - Shares gain despite like-for-like sales coming below analyst expectations. the company reports like-for-like sales for 23 weeks to 15 July rose 3% (2.6% inc. fuel) - below analyst expectations. Adds is on track to hit fiscal targets. Panmure Gordon says the slowdown to just over 1% like-for-like is not particularly encouraging for long-term growth. Moreover, traders note continuing bid talk featuring PE and Robert Tchenguiz. A trader points out rumours of £4.50/sh bid. Also, Citigroup sees the company as the most likely to benefit from read-through from Sainsbury. Dresdner lifts target to £3.40 from £3.15, retains add.
CAP GEMINI was up €2.17 to €57.11... In talks with Infosys - press - India's Infosys Technologies is in talks with at least four companies, including the company for a potential acquisition, The Times of India reported. Market source says the company should benefit from good IBM's second quarter figures.
DANONE (DA) was up €1.35 to €57.13... Nestle, PepsiCo held talks - WSJ - PepsiCo and Nestle explored a merger this spring that would have resulted in the creation of a huge global food concern, bit the effort was ultimately scuttled because of myriad complications, the WSJ reports.
ERAMET was up €18.73 to €222.73... Areva may buy 37% stake in the company - press - Areva may buy the 37% stake of the company held by the Duval family, Les Echos reports.
SAP (SAP) was up €2.29 to €40.06... second quarter tops expectations (broker comments) - The company reported second quarter net income of EUR 449 million, higher than expected, on in-line total revenues of €2.42 billion. Confirming its full-year guidance, said its worldwide share of core enterprise applications vendors was 26% at the end of the quarter. Rating the stock buy, UniCredit says the solid first half performance leaves room for speculation that 2007 may surprise on the upside. Cheuvreux lifts target to €38 as it sticks to underperform. Bankl Sarasin says with a P/E of 20.3x for 2008, the company's shares still trade at a multi year low in terms of valuation. Notes that in addition, expectations continue to be on the cautious side, which broker believes is no longer justified and could be a trigger for a rerating of the stock going forward. Reiterating its buy recommendation, Dresdner expects these strong results to allay investors' residual concerns.
SUEDZUCKER was up €0.15 to €16.10... Talk of possible bid by Chile's Iansa - Traders note talk that Chilean-based Empresas Iansa could bid €4.87 billion for the company Currently, the company 's market cap is about €3.1 billion.
PREMIERE was down €0.71 to €19.15... Stated goals disappoint - The company expects c. €1.05 billion in revenues this year. Sees 2007 EBITDA of €80-100 million and 2008 EBITDA of €180-200 million. On the broker front, WestLB upgrades to add from reduce, lifting the target to €22.
IMPREGILO was up €0.37 to €6.40... Wins a US$480 million contract in Kuwait - The company wins a contract to build a turnkey desalination plant in Kuwait for a total of US$480 million.
FINMECCANICA was up €0.50 to €23.22... Talks with Russians on helicopter builds - Chairman and CEO Pierfrancesco Guarguaglini confirms that the company has initiated talks with Russian partners about constructing its AW-139 civilian helicopter in Russia.
TOMTOM was up €1.07 to €41.91... The broker changes ahead of second quarter results - Ahead of results on 24 July, Lehman ups target to €45 from €40, maintaining overweight recommendation. Forecasts earnings growth of 30% for the next two years. Rabo raises target to €39 from €31 on the back of new GO product-range and US dollar. The company reiterates hold recommendation. Expects second quarter 2007 to have been a lacklustre quarter ahead of a very strong seasonal second half07.
HEINEKEN was down €0.40 to €45.67... The broker changes after raised outlook - After the company raised its guidance yesterday, brokers revise targets: Exane BNP Paribas raises target to €48 from €42 (neutral). Credit Suisse ups to €40 from €33 (neutral). Goldman Sachs to €48.20 from €46 (buy). ING to €52.40 from €47.50 (buy). Kempen €50 from €44. SocGen to €45 from €40 (hold). UBS to €48 from €44 (neutral). WestLB to €50 vs €44 (add). Cheuvreux downgrades to underperform from outperform since upside vs increased target price of €49 from €46 leaves only mid single digit upside.
BOLIDEN was up SEK8.75 to SEK157.50... second quarter07 results above analyst forecasts - The company reports second quarter07 operating profit down 9% to SEK2.22 billion vs SEK2.45 billion year-over-year, consensus was SEK1.85 billion. Sales reached SEK9.29 billion vs SEK8.85 billion year-over-year, consensus was SEK9.3 billion.
S-E BANKEN was up SEK2.50 to SEK239.50... second quarter operating profit up by 17% Y/Y to SEK4.55 billion, with net profit reaching SEK3.52 billion. Net interest income rises to SEK3.94 billion from SEK3.58 billion in same period last year, with net fee and commission income rising by 11% to SEK4.54 billion.
OLD MUTUAL was up SEK0.60 to SEK23.70... StanChart in talks with Nedbank - Standard Chartered has held talks with South Africa's Nedbank, financial daily Business Day reports. The paper cites sources saying discussions between Standard Chartered and Nedbank, which is majority owned by the company, are understood to have been going on for a while.
BANCO POPULAR was up €0.06 to €13.61... first half07 net profit tops forecasts - posted net att. profit in first half of €613 million, up 18.4%. Adds NII rose 12.3% to €1.137 billion. Numbers are ahead of forecasts. The company says ROE was 24.7% in second quarter, or 23.3% for first half. Adds efficiency ratio improved by 151bp to 29.72% in first half. The company has named Jose Maria Lucia Aguirre as its new CEO, replacing Francisco Fernandex Dopico, who is retiring.
SOGECABLE was up €0.23 to €29.82... Cheuvreux sees the company winning football battle - Mediapro reportedly said yesterday that it is confident it will obtain TV broadcasting rights for the Spanish football teams it has not already signed up. The four are Atletico Madrid, Getafe, Tenerife and Betis. Cheuvreux says Mediapro's media campaign is a sign of weakness, as it signed contracts it cannot pay. Notes the company is in no rush, as it legally owns all rights for next two seasons and should end up winning the football battle. Goldman Sachs lifts target to €32.50 from €31.50, neutral.
ROCHE was up CHF6.10 to CHF220.50... Interim net earnings beat expectations - The company reports first half sales of CHF23 billion, up 15% year-over-year, and net income of CHF5.9 billion, 29% higher year-over-year. Core earnings per share come in at CHF5.95, a 21% year-over-year rise. Severin Schwan is to succeed Franz B. Humer as Chief Executive at the March 2008 shareholders' meeting.