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French Stocks Declined, Led by Societe Generale and Alcatel; Axa Also Fell

France’s CAC 40 Index declined 79.92, or 2.2 percent, to 3,556.11, falling for a third day. The SBF 120 Index dropped 2 percent.

The following shares rose or fell in Paris. Stock symbols are in parentheses.

Alcatel-Lucent SA (ALU FP) tumbled 6.5 percent to 2.11 euros, the lowest level since February. The largest French telecommunications equipment producer reported a net loss of more than double estimates as it battled a shortage of components.

The net loss of 515 million euros ($660 million) compared with an estimated loss of 244.4 million euros, the average of 11 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

 Axa SA (CS FP) lost 6.1 percent to 12.65 euros, a fifth day of declines. Europe’s second-biggest insurer by market value reported first-quarter revenue of 27.9 billion euros, compared with analysts’ median estimate of 28.2 billion-euro.

Life and savings new business value, a measure of the present value of future profits expected from long-term life or pension policies, rose 35 percent to 317 million euros. That missed the analysts’ estimate of 336 million euros.

Bureau Veritas SA (BVI FP), the world’s second-largest goods-inspection company, gained 2.5 percent to 42.43 euros after three days of declines. The stock was raised to “add” from “reduce” at Oddo Securities.

Cap Gemini SA (CAP FP), Europe’s largest computer-services company, jumped 2.9 percent to 37.71 euros after three days of losses. Sales in the first three months of the year matched those of the previous quarter. The company may return to growth in the second half of the year, Chief Executive Officer Paul Hermelin said.

GDF Suez SA (GSZ FP) fell 2.5 percent to 25.51 euros, declining for a third day. The operator of Europe’s largest natural-gas grid had the outlook on its senior unsecured debt cut to “negative” from “stable” by Moody’s Investors Service. Its Electrabel unit also sold its 38.5 percent stake in Fluxys SA for 636 million euros.

Legrand SA (LR FP) jumped 1.8 percent to 23.81 euros after three days of losses. Legrand said it’s targeting an adjusted operating margin above 18 percent for 2010. The company reported first-quarter net income of 90.3 million euros versus 56.5 million euros a year earlier.

Societe Generale (GLE FP), France’s second-largest bank, declined 7 percent to 35.62 euros, the lowest since July. Banks posted the biggest decline among 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index on concern the region’s government debt levels may harm the economic recovery.

Credit Agricole SA (ACA FP), France’s biggest bank by branches, sank 3.8 percent to 9.76 euros. BNP Paribas SA (BNP FP) retreated 2.5 percent to 46.58 euros, even as France’s largest bank said first-quarter profit increased 47 percent to 2.28 billion euros, surpassing analyst estimates.

To contact the reporters on this story: Adria Cimino in Paris at acimino1@bloomberg.net; Daniela Silberstein in Zurich at dsilberstei2@bloomberg.net.

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