Plus more European stocks making headlines Wednesday
NORTHERN ROCK was up £0.23 to £1.86... Confirms approaches, cancels interim div Confirms it has received a number of approaches regarding a variety of potential transactions, including the possibility of an offer being made for the company , although no price has been referred to. Adds it is in preliminary discussions with selected parties. Will not make any interim dividend payment until it can make a full announcement regarding the outcome of discussions with other parties and the development of the business model. the company says it is still benefiting from the availability of a standby liquidity facility from the Bank of England and the Chancellor of the Exchequer has confirmed that, should it be necessary, the Treasury, with the Bank of England, would guarantee existing deposits on the basis announced on 17, 20 and 21 September.
DSG INTERNATIONAL was down £0.05 to £1.30... Credit Suisse cuts target to £0.95 from £1.55, keeps underperform. The company says in a worst-case scenario (loss of high proportion of extended warranty profits and online attrition) the company could lose all of its UK
profits. Calculates that ex EWs the company currently makes a 1% product UK
INVESCO was up £0.32 to £6.63... Opts for US (press) - The FT reports that the company plans to switch its primary listing from London to New York, because US investors hold more than 50% of its shares and because it believes it will benefit more from a US listing.
BARRATT DEVELOPMENT Down £0.09 to £7.17... fiscal pretax profit up 9.3%, sees short-term pressure - posted fiscal pretax profit of £427.8 million, +9.3% (vs cons £430 million); adjusted basic EPS 123.8p, +7.4%; turnover £3.046 billion, 25.3% (vs cons £2.911 billion); final DPS 24.30p, +17.5%; total DPS 35.68p, +15%. The company says Wilson Bowden integration is progressing ahead of plan with increased synergy benefits of at least £60 million in second fiscal after completion. Completions up at 17,168, up 17.6%, with average selling price of £172,800, +4.2%. The company says there will be downward pressure on volumes and price inflation in the short-term.
CARREFOUR was up €0.93 to €49.59... Still expects property IPO in 2008 - Bloomberg reports.
DANONE was down €0.15 to €56.93... Citi downgrades to hold, UBS cuts target - Citigroup downgrades to hold from buy and cuts target to €60.0 from €72.5. The company says that dairy derivative increases are starting to impact the liquid market: estimates a €294 million on-cost in fiscal 2007. UBS cuts target to €65 from €69. The broker has had an initial stab at EPS estimates for 2008 and beyond, assuming both the biscuit disposal (€5.3 billion) and acquisition of Numico (€13.4 billion) complete before the end of 2007. As a consequence UBS is lowering 2008 adjusted EPS ests by 4% to €2.78. Keeps neutral.
RHODIA was down €0.99 to €25.26... Profit warning rumour - Traders note market rumour having it that the company is set to issue a profit warning.
BMW was up €1.41 to €46.68... Shares edge up on hopes of new targets - Capital magazine runs a story saying there will be a supervisory board meeting tomorrow in which new targets will be discussed. In a separate update, the Quandt family doesn't plan to buy a stake in Daimler, according to the Handelsblatt.
DAIMLER (DAI) was up €0.26 to €69.28... BMW confirms willingness to cooperate with Mercedes Car Group to develop engines, such as diesel motors, but adds that no talks on the matter have yet been held. (Auto Motor und Sport)
DEUTSCHE BOERSE was up €3.21 to €96.61... The broker target hike and prospects hopes buoy stock - the company 's shares well bid after recent cost cuts and share buyback news. On the broker front, Credit Suisse lifts target to €115 from €107, reiterating outperform. See Broker Views & News - Germany.
FIAT was up €0.73 to €21.45... Sales target already beaten - the company has received enough orders for its new Bravo and 500 models to beat its sales targets for the year, according to figures disclosed in a presentation to US investors.
AEFFE was up €0.27 to €3.69... Merrill Lynch initiates with buy and €4.25 target. Notes the company 's flexible business model and high visibility on forward apparel revenues are its major strengths. Adds these characteristics are complemented by significant upside potential in the lucrative leather/accessories product areas and ample scope to improve distribution and the international profile of its brands. the company forecasts a 10% rise in 2007 revenues and double-digit growth in core profit as it increases it brands and licences.
NUTRECO was up €0.60 to €50.08... EC approves acquisition of BASF unit - The European Commission has decided under the EU Merger Regulation to approve the company 's acquisition of BASF's animal feed premix unit.
OUTOKUMPU was up €1.43 to €25.22... Goldman upgrades / May bid for Acerinox - Market rumours suggest the company could be interested in bidding for Acerinox at €24 per share and may already have built up a 6% stake. Market talk earlier in the summer suggested the company could be interested in Acerinox. Goldman upgrades to buy vs neutral, adds to pan Europe conviction buy list and lifts target to EUR 30.00 vs €25.40. Believes that the company is well positioned to benefit in the short term from the upswing in stainless steel base prices that broker forecasts and to close the unwarranted valuation gap relative to Acerinox.
OMX was up SEK5.50 to SEK276.50... Borse Dubai and Nasdaq holds 47.6% - Borse Dubai and Nasdaq have secured 47.6% of the company 's shares through direct ownership, option agreements and irrevocable undertakings as they raised their offer to SEK265/share. The two have now secured 18.5% of the shares from irrevocable undertakings from Investor, Nordea, Olof Stenhammar, Didner & Gerge, Nykredit and Magnus Bocker. Dubai's initial bid stood at SEK230/share, but got blown out of the window last week when QIA bought a 10% stake. Separately, the company has signed a deal selling its trading technology to Bolsa de Valores de Colombia, the Colombian stock and bond exchange, writes the WSJ.
HENNES & MAURITZ was up SEK12.00 to SEK402.50... third quarter misses est while online starts well - third quarter sales comes in at SEK18.7 billion vs SEK19.1 billion forecast, pretax profit at SEK4.4 billion vs SEK4.6 billion, gross margin at 61.2% vs 60.6% forecast. August sales was up 11% vs 11.9% forecast, while like-for-like sales dropped 1% vs no change expected. The company says September sales has been satisfying so far. Highlights online sales in Germany and Austria have kicked off very well. Launch of H&M Home will now take place in autumn 2008.
ACERINOX was up €1.41 to €21.32... Rumour that Outokumpu could bid - Market rumours suggest Outokumpu could be interested in bidding for the company at €24 per share and may already have built up a 6% stake. Market talk earlier in the summer suggested Outokumpu could be interested in the company Goldman Sachs ups target to €16.30 from €16, sell. Updates forecasts to reflect the recent moves in the US$ and ZAR relative to the EUR, which impact the company 's NAS and Columbus operations, respectively. Also reviews the company 's growth initiatives at NAS and Columbus and makes revisions to unit cost assumptions, which broker says appeared to be too high. Sees current year EPS at EUR 1.97 and raises 2008 to €2.12 from €1.94.
IBERIA was up €0.16 to €3.41... In talks with Air France-KLM - website - Air France-KLM is in talks with the company regarding a possible bid, according to BolsaCinco. The company says the French firm could invite Planeta and Juan Abello's investment vehicle Torreal to join it in the offer. The website cites financial sources saying that Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have already had meetings with Air France-KLM's top management to analyse a possible merger.
ABB LTD (ABB) was up CHF0.28 to CHF30.28... Wins order to install robotics automation lines for Charleston Stamping and manufactuing. The contract is worth CAD7 million.