Plus more European stocks making headlines in Wednesday's market
SABMILLER Down GBP0.16 to GBP12.93... S&P Equity Research downgrades to sell from hold following the recent sharp rise in shares after press reports that Co. has held informal discussions with InBev about a link-up. Co. has quietly indicated to InBev that it would formally consider a bid pitched at GBP15/sh or more, valuing the business at GBP22.6bn, according to FT Alphaville.
BRITISH ENERGY Down GBP0.12 to GBP7.25... FY earnings, nulcear output down - Says FY adj EBITDA was GBP882m (-38.40%) higher than market estimates. Nuclear output 50.3 TWh VS 51.2 TWh yr ago due to BCU issue at Hartlepool and Heysham 1. M&A talks ongoing. To invest GBP280m-GBP305m in Plants in 2008/09.
BRITISH AIRWAYS Up GBP0.01 to GBP2.12... Rises tracking fall in crude price - Shares pick up gains tracking a fall in oil prices. US airline stocks were up yesterday, a trader notes. WTI is down US$2.31/bbl at US$126.54 a barrel.
BARCLAYS Up GBP0.05 to GBP3.96... Compiles new lower FY consensus ests - Co. has updated FY consensus numbers: PTP has fallen to GBP5.876bn (vs previous GBP6.356bn), basic EPS 53.9p (vs 58.4p) and DPS 33.9p (vs 34.8p). Credit Suisse cuts target to GBP4.15 from GBP5.70, keeps neutral. Cuts EPS ests to 50p from 70p for 2008 and to 61p from 76p for 2009.
EADS Up EUR 0.21 to EUR 14.88... No demand for govt aid - Enders - Co.'s Airbus has not asked for government aid for the development of the A350 XWB, Reuters reports citing Airbus chief Tom Enders. The governments of European countries linked with Airbus have given their support, which will include a financial package, to the development of the A350 XWB, Challenges reports. The aid would, however, be conditional on a substantial part of the R&D and production remaining in Europe. The magazine quotes German govt aerospace spokeman Peter Hintze as saying 'we have not drawn up concrete figures today.' The governments will want to conform with WTO and EU law, perhaps meaning the aid will come in the form of loans to be repaid. In other news, JetBlue defers delivery of 21 A320 aircraft for up to five years, reportedly.
STM (FR) Up EUR 0.18 to EUR 8.28... Confirms positive guidance at AGM - Shares are up after Co. confirmed its guidance of doing better than the market this year at yesterday's shareholder meeting.
ATOS Down EUR 1.94 to EUR 37.02... Agrees board structure with Centaurus and Pardus - Co., Centaurus and Pardus have reached agreement over the structure of Co.'s board in the wake of last week's adjourned AGM. All three parties will propose Jean-Philippe Thierry (chairman and chief executive of French insurance group AGF and a member of the Allianz management board) as a member of the board and nominate him as Chairman. The board will be composed of nine members - seven independent and one each from Centaurus and Pardus. A new AGM has been scheduled for 12 June.
PRAKTIKER Up EUR 1.10 to EUR 15.60... Rumour of Home Depot eyeing Co. - Traders say shares in Co. rise on a rumours that Home Depot could be interested in Co.
Q-CELLS Down EUR 1.18 to EUR 75.15... Agrees US$3.5bn investment in Mexico - Co. has reportedly agreed to invest up to US$3.5bn in the mid to long term to build a production complex for thin-film modules in Mexicali, the state capital of Baja California near the US border.
IMPREGILO Down EUR 0.08 to EUR 4.02... CEO of Fibe arrested in probe over waste crisis - Co. has announced that the CEO and other employees and former employees of its Fibe units have been arrested in a new probe over waste management activities in Campania.
GENERALI Up EUR 0.36 to EUR 26.51... Westlb upgrades to add from hold and keeps target of EUR 30.5 as says Co. has outperformed the insurance sector since the beginning of 2008 mainly due to its defensive asset allocation. Says that Co. showed a convincing management performance in recent times. Deutsche Bank cuts target to EUR 29.50 from EUR 30.40. Reiterates hold on Co., which remains a solid play, even though the stocks defensiveness seems well priced in. Says prefers Alleanza to Co. as believes that speculation on a potential Co. buyout of Alleanza and Alleanza's high yield should lead to better stock placement midterm. Keeps hold rating. Co. has decided not to bid for Royal Bank of Scotland's insurance arm as the price of EUR 9bn asked by the British bank was considered too high, according to Il Sole 24 Ore. Adds that Co.'s decision could be announced shortly.
ING GROEP Up EUR 0.38 to EUR 24.26... Postbank could be suitable for Co. - press - Deutsche Postbank could be of interest to a number of companies, Handelsblatt reports. Lists Co., Santander, Lloyds, BNP Paribas and Intesa as all being potential suitors.
SKF Up SEK3.50 to SEK110.00... CEO keeps 2Q outlook / SocGen upgrades - Reuters quotes CEO Tom Johnstone, at today's Capital Markets Day, saying that he sees better demand in 2Q and repeats the outlook. Says that Co. has seen good volume development. Adding that it will be able to offset higher raw materials prices over the year, even though it will be a tight 2Q. In broker action, SocGen upgrades to buy from hold and raises target price to SEK125 from SEK114. Says the Automotive division continues to perform well in the market despite relatively weak demand and remains on target to exceed 6% operating margin. Meanwhile, broker mentions there is a long order book for industrial bearings.
FERROVIAL Down EUR 0.65 to EUR 52.25... BAA's 1Q operating costs +26.2% y/y - Co.'s BAA reports 1Q08 revenues of GBP506m, +8.8%; operating costs of GBP332m, +26.2%; op. loss of GBP51m vs GBP107m profit y/y; and net loss of GBP41m vs GBP57m profit y/y. Says net debt is up 6.7% to GBP7.4bn. Adds UK airports passenger traffic is up 0.9% y/y and Naples airport traffic up 11.7%.