Benelux Stocks: ArcelorMittal, ASML, Option, Recticel, Spector Are Active

The Amsterdam Exchanges Index dropped 2.97, or 0.9 percent, to 312.58 as of 10:27 a.m. local time, a second day of declines. The measure has fallen 6.7 percent so far this year. Belgium’s Bel20 Index fell 0.9 percent to 2,438.04 today.

The following are among the most active stocks in the Benelux markets today. Symbols are in parentheses.

Dutch stocks:

Amsterdam Commodities NV (ACOMO NA) rose 3.1 percent to 8.20 euros, after two days of declines. The world’s largest trader of spices proposed to pay an interim dividend of 11 eurocents a share, from 10 cents a year earlier.

AND International Publishers NV (AND NA) soared 9.8 percent to 4.50 euros, gaining for a fourth day. The Dutch mapmaker expects full-year profit to rise to at least 2.3 million euros ($2.9 million), from 1.5 million euros a year earlier.

ArcelorMittal (MT NA), the world’s biggest steelmaker, dropped 1.6 percent to 22.585 euros, paring three days of gains. Reports due today on U.S. house prices and consumer confidence may compound concern the recovery in the world’s largest economy is faltering.

ASML Holding NV (ASML NA) tumbled 3.4 percent to 19.60 euros, poised for a close at the lowest level since November. Europe’s biggest maker of semiconductor equipment was cut to “hold” from “buy” at Deutsche Bank AG.

Ctac NV (CTAC NA) plunged 7.8 percent to 2.20 euros, reversing yesterday’s 7 percent rise. The Dutch distributor of SAP AG business-management software said it doesn’t expect “market conditions in the ICT sector to improve significantly in the second half of this year.” The company said it expects a “modest” full year profit.

Macintosh Retail Group NV (MACIN NA) slipped 1.1 percent to 15.01 euros, extending yesterday’s 5.3 percent drop. The owner of Dolcis and Manfield shoe stores reported first-half profit of 6.9 million euros compared with 8.1 million euros a year earlier. Analysts had expected profit to rise to 8.63 million euros, according to the average of three estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Belgian stocks:

Hamon & Cie. SA (HAMO BB) gained 2.2 percent to 26.90 euros, the biggest gain in almost a month. The Franco-Belgian maker of cooling towers for power stations said that first-half new orders were 194.3 million euros, while the company plans an interim dividend of 25 cents a share.

Ion Beam Applications SA (IBAB BB) slipped 1 percent to 7.75 euros, paring two days of advances. Europe’s largest maker of proton-therapy equipment said first-half net income fell 24 percent to 2.31 million euros. The company, which is studying strategic options for its pharmaceuticals unit, said it’s still in talks about an offer it received for a 60 percent stake in its in-vitro diagnostics business and that the offer doesn’t meet all of its requirements.

Option NV (OPTI BB), the Belgian maker of wireless data- access devices that raised 20.2 million euros in a rights offer in December, fell 14 percent to 49 cents. The company had 7.65 million euros of cash left at the end of June following a 20.5 million-euro loss in the first half.

Separately, KBC Groep NV cut its recommendation on the stock to “sell” from “hold.”

Recticel SA (REC BB) fell 5.9 percent to 7 euros, paring four days of gains. The Belgian maker of foam, car-interior trim and Lattoflex mattresses said first-half profit was 13.2 million euros and reconfirmed its full-year guidance for operating profit and debt reduction.

‘Higher raw material costs have offset part of the operating leverage and of positive effects of the restructuring efforts made last year,’’ Brussels-based analyst Bernard Hanssens at Bank Degroof wrote in a note today.

Spector Photo Group NV (SPEC BB) dropped 10 percent to 61 cents, poised for a close at the lowest level in more than a year. The photography company that owns the Photo Hall stores said its first-half net loss widened to 6.32 million euros.

Zetes Industries SA (ZTS BB) rose 1.3 percent to 15.30 euros. The maker of Belgium’s electronic identity cards forecast earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization and one-time items will rise to 17 million euros from 13.6 million euros last year. First-half net income fell 23 percent to 2.33 million euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maud van Gaal in Amsterdam at

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