Cookson Rises; Evolution Says Euro May Boost Earnings

Cookson Group Plc (CKSN), the world's biggest maker of molds for steelmakers, rose in London trading after Evolution Securities said a stronger euro versus the pound may boost earnings.

Cookson advanced 3.1 percent to close at 703.5 pence. At 1.28 euros per pound, there is potential for a 10 percent upgrade to earnings at the London-based company, Keith Hiscock, joint head of institutional equity sales at Evolution, which rates the stock ``buy,'' said today in a note.

The pound slid earlier today to a record low of 80.01 pence per euro and was equal to 1.2492 euros as of 4:36 p.m London time. Britain's currency has weakened by 15 percent against the euro in the past year.

A strong euro will also benefit other U.K. engineers such as GKN Plc (GKN), Bodycote International Plc and Morgan Crucible Co., Hiscock said.

Analysts at Numis Securities yesterday increased their profit estimates on Cookson for 2008 and 2009 by 8.5 percent and 7 percent respectively, citing its acquisition of British rival Foseco Plc. Numis raised its share price target on the stock by 12 percent to 880 pence.

Cookson has fallen 15 percent in the last six months, giving the company a market value of 1.5 billion pounds ($2.95 billion).

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