Plus more European stocks making headlines in Friday's market
WOLSELEY Down GBP0.22 to GBP4.48... Morgan Stanley cuts to underweight from equalweight, cuts target to GBP3.80 from GBP5.30 on a negative outlook on Nordic business vs UK; trough of US housing starts pushed out to 2Q09; no organic revenue growth until 2011 and net debt to EBITDA exceeding debt covenant of 3.5x.
BARRATT DEVELOPMENT Up GBP0.07 to GBP0.85... Banks throw a financial lifeline - Co. has struck a deal with banks to waive a clause that could have put Co. in breach of its lending covenants after it writes down the value of its landbank in July, Building magazine reports quoting sources. A Co. spokesperson refuses to comment on market speculation.
BARCLAYS Down GBP0.10 to GBP3.06... Close to GBP470m Japanese cash injection - Co. is believed to be on the brink of securing a JPY100bn (GBP470m) shot of funding from Sumitomo, according to The Times
DANONE Down EUR 1.83 to EUR 47.54... No large takeover soon in the sector - ML - UK's peer Cadbury shares are unlikely to rise further because there's little chance that it will merge with a competitor soon, Merrill Lynch reportedly said. A combination with Hershey, the biggest US chocolate maker, has been 'ruled out,' analysts at Merrill said today, Bloomberg reports. Adds Nestle has said it will make no large takeovers anytime soon, according to Merrill.
TOTAL Up EUR 0.00 to EUR 51.66... Wins on Deer Creek - press - An Alberta court has ruled that Co. paid fair value when acquiring Deer Creek Energy, quashing claims by New York hedge fund Paulson & Co that Co. should have paid far more for the junior oil sands company, reportedly. Iraq's Oil Minister has told The Guardian a proposed deal with Co., BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil does not represent privatisation of the country's natural resources. The paper adds that the contracts will be limited to 'technical support', at first. Says the companies' lawyers have been keen to secure preferential rights if more extensive contracts are forthcoming.
ATOS Up EUR 2.59 to EUR 39.39... Exane bought 5m Co. shares for PAI Partners - Exane BNP Paribas bought for EUR 195m of Co. shares for PAI Partners, reportedly.
KLOECKNER Up EUR 0.46 to EUR 38.70... Says to raise business forecast for the current fiscal year. Projects sales at least 10% higher y/y and EBITDA to exceed current market expectations.
ESCADA Down EUR 0.40 to EUR 14.30... Tchibo heir Herz says owns stake of less than 12%, according to source cited by Reuters. Adds would increase stake in Co. via a capital hike. Reckons Co. is need of more than EUR 30m of new capital, which corresponds to a capital injection of more than 10% being necessary.
FIAT Down EUR 0.82 to EUR 11.75... Expects poor new car sales in June - CEO - CEO Sergio Marchionne has said that Co.'s Italian new car sales so far have been just as disastrous in June as they were the previous month. For FY08 sales, Marchionne confirmed that Co. will be in line with 2008 forecasts. Co. has also said that its Alfa Romeo brand will become profitable when it manages to sell at least 300k cars a year.
TENARIS Up EUR 0.52 to EUR 22.28... Shares up ahead of US ITC decision on pipe imports - Shares at Co. continue to soar ahead of a decision by the US International Trade Commission on the import of welded pipes from China. A local broker says that shares have also jumped on the request from Bush to allow offshore drilling in areas currently subject to environmental restrictions.
ASM INTL Up EUR 0.36 to EUR 20.96... Rejects front end business bid - Co. has rejected an unsolicited bid for all its front end businesses from Applied Materials and Francisco Partners valuing the units at US$625m-US$800m. Believes the offer 'significantly undervalues the Front-End business and fails to reflect its future prospects'.
SBM OFFSHORE Down EUR 1.16 to EUR 23.42... Goldman Sachs downgrades to neutral from buy, lifting target to EUR 27 from EUR 26, following a recent period of strong performance, leaving limited upside to broker's price target. Believes Co. remains well placed to win two FPSOs for BP on Block 31 in Angola, but GS has now included these in its valuation and believes that the market is pricing in the contracts.
WAVIN Down EUR 0.29 to EUR 6.25... Sees 1H08 LFL sales down 3% y/y - Co. issues a trading update ahead of 1H08 results on 29 August: it expects 1H08 revenues to grow to EUR 835m, up c.1% y/y (1H07: EUR 824m). LFL revenues will be down c.3% y/y. The EBITDA margin over the period is forecast at around 11%, compared to 13% y/y. CEO Philip Houben says it is 'obvious that the credit crunch is having an increasing impact on the building sector in a number of Western European economies.' Remains 'cautious' on FY outlook, offering no specific forecast.
VESTAS WIND Down DKK3.00 to DKK681.00... Books 61 wind turbines order in Spain .
STATOILHYDRO Down NOK5.60 to NOK191.10... May 'farm down' GoM assets/To add Russian partnerships - Spokeswoman Kjersti tells Reuters the group may 'farm down', or invite partners for some of its exploration assets in the Gulf of Mexico. Reuters also reports, head of Co. in Russia Bengt Lie Hansen says 'we are working on various new business development opportunities' and would like to find Russian partners. In other news, Norway is set to announce a new petroleum and energy minister today, after Aaslaugh Haga's resignation earlier this week.
NEUROSEARCH Up DKK10.00 to DKK255.00... Phase II study of ABT-894 shows positive results - Co. says positive results have emerged in a phase two study with ABT-894 for the treatment of adults suffering from Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
GAS NATURAL Down EUR 0.06 to EUR 35.60... SocGen upgrades to buy from hold and ups target to EUR 42 from EUR 40. Thinks a link-up with GDF Suez could be possible in the medium to long term.
GAMESA Down EUR 1.35 to EUR 33.65... Vestas books 112 MW order in Spain - Co.'s rival Vestas Wind has booked a 112 MW order (61 wind turbines) in Spain. Vestas says it cannot disclose details about the project ownership at this time.
UBS Down CHF0.78 to CHF23.08... Lehman cuts tgt / Ex-banker pleads guilty - Lehman cuts price target to CHF27 from CHF28, keeps at underweight. Sees Co. posting a 2Q loss of CHF2.2bn. In other news, former UBS executive Bradley Birkenfeld has reportedly pleaded guilty to helping clients hide hundreds of millions of dollars and evade US taxes.
CS GROUP Down CHF1.12 to CHF47.48... Lehman sees Co. 2Q profit at CHF0.8bn with around CHF1.3bn of charges in the quarter, comprising CHF0.8bn of basis risk and CHF0.5bn from the reversal of gains on own debt. Cuts 2008 EPS forecast to CHF1.64 from CHF1.80. Maintains equal-weight.