Italian Stocks: Ansaldo, Fiat, Gemina, Pirelli, and UniCredit

Italy’s benchmark FTSE MIB Index was little changed, ending at 21,003.94, up 2.32 points, at the 5:30 p.m. close in Milan.

The following stocks were among the most active in the Italian market today.

A2A SpA (A2A) retreated 0.6 percent to 1.14 euros, a third consecutive decline as utilities were the worst performers in Europe today. The company will probably review a report on its strategic options, including Edison SpA, prepared by its adviser Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, at a supervisory board meeting scheduled for Sept. 22, Radiocor reported, citing Vice Chairman Rosario Bifulco.

Banca Akros said in a note that “we believe that the company has not yet obtained the clear support of the Italian government on the Edison reorganization process. This is, in our view, penalizing the stock. We confirm that the reorganization of Edison is crucial for A2A.”

A.S. Roma SpA (ASR) surged 7.4 percent to 1.18 euros, the highest since June 2009. UniCredit SpA (UCG) has started the sale process for the controlling stake in the soccer club, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Paolo Fiorentino told reporters today in Milan. His comments were confirmed by a company official.

Ansaldo STS SpA (STS) , Finmeccanica SpA (FNC)’s railway-technology unit, advanced 2.4 percent to 10.03 euros, a second day of gains. Exane BNP Paribas reiterated an “outperform” rating on the stock, citing results of a study on the world rail market disclosed by Unife, the European rail industry association.

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA (BMPS IM) lost 0.6 percent to 1.04 euros, paring a 3.4 percent gain yesterday. “The sector took a pause after yesterday’s rally triggered by Basel III news flow,” said Andrea Carli, head of professional investor sales at Alpe Adria Gestioni in Pordenone, Italy. “The market will somehow start pondering capital strengthening where needed across the industry.” Unione di Banche Italiane ScpA (UBI IM) slid 0.5 percent to 7.35 euros.

Fiat SpA (F) increased for a fifth day, rising 1.6 percent to 10.38 euros. Gruppo Banca Leonardo reiterated a “buy” rating on the Italian carmaker before the company’s shareholder meeting Sept. 16 to approve the spinoff of Fiat’s industrial activities. The brokerage said that “the demerger of the industrial business should allow for a rerating of the stock.”

Gemina SpA (GEM IM), the manager of Rome’s airports, climbed 5.5 percent to 51.15 euro cents, the biggest gain since May. Equita Sim SpA reiterated a “buy” rating on the stock, saying that “Rome recorded the highest level of passenger traffic ever in August.”

Parmalat SpA (PLT) advanced 1.1 percent to 1.99 euros, ending a two-day loss. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “overweight” rating on Italy’s biggest dairy food company, saying in a note that “investors focus on potential cash returns may miss the opportunity that exists for management to add value through acquisitions.”

Pirelli & C. SpA (PC) rose 1.5 percent to 5.83 euros, a fifth consecutive increase. Intermonte Sim SpA upgraded Europe’s third-largest tiremaker to “outperform” from “neutral.” The brokerage said “upcoming news flow should remain positive, as Pirelli & C. Real Estate SpA (PRS) will officially be spun off at the end of October, which is likely to further reduce the holding discount.” Pirelli Re shares gained 3.7 percent to 42.25 euro cents.

Recordati SpA (REC) advanced 1 percent to 6.38 euros, the highest in almost two weeks. Jefferies Group Inc. initiated coverage of Italy’s biggest publicly traded drugmaker with a “buy” recommendation and a price estimate of 7.1 euros. The brokerage expects Recordati to raise 2010 guidance when it reports nine-month figures on Oct. 26. “Upcoming product launches should sustain the shares,” it said in a note.

STMicroelectronics NV (STM) , Europe’s largest semiconductor maker, rose for a second day, adding 1 percent to 5.64 euros. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index climbed for a second day.

Telecom Italia SpA (TIT) gained for the first day in four, rising 1.3 percent to 1.07 euros. Morgan Stanley lifted its recommendation on European telecommunication shares to “overweight,” as the “preferred defensive sector.”

UniCredit SpA (UCG IM), Italy’s biggest bank, retreated 0.6 percent to 2.02 euros, after climbing 2.9 percent yesterday. Evolution Securities reiterated its “short-term sell” recommendation on UniCredit.

To contact the reporter on this story: Francesca Cinelli in Milan at fcinelli@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Merritt at dmerritt1@bloomberg.net.

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