Italian Stocks Advance; Azimut, Bulgari, Mediaset, Saipem, STMicro Active

Italy’s benchmark FTSE MIB Index gained for a second day this week, rising 395.04, or 1.9 percent, to 21,145.26 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Milan.

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

Azimut Holding SpA (AZM IM), Italy’s largest independent fund manager, jumped 4.1 percent to 7.51 euros as the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose the most in six weeks after minutes from the Federal Reserve showed policy makers are prepared to buy more government debt.

Bulgari SpA (BUL IM) advanced for a third day, rising 3.1 percent to 7.39 euros. UniCredit Research increased its price estimate on the world’s third-largest jeweler to 6 euros from 5 euros, while keeping a “sell” rating. The brokerage said “on a near-term perspective, our earnings-per-share estimates for 2010 are above consensus for Bulgari.”

CIR-Compagnie Industriali Riunite SpA (CIR IM) climbed 2.2 percent to 1.61 euros, its highest price since May 3. UBS AG increased its price estimate on the holding company to 2.25 euros from 2.10 euros.

Danieli SpA (DAN IM) advanced 3.6 percent to 19.71 euros. Italy’s biggest maker of equipment for the steel industry had its price estimate lifted by Intermonte Sim SpA and Banca Akros to 22.50 euros and 23.80 euros, respectively. Danieli said it expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of as much as 310 million euros in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011.

Fiat SpA (F IM) added 1 percent to 11.85 euros, a fifth straight gain. “With the news flow on third-quarter results, guidance improvement and spinoff still in front of us, both for Fiat and Chrysler Group LLC, we still see upside on the stock,” Mediobanca Securities said in a note, reiterating its “outperform” recommendation.

Luxottica Group SpA (LUX IM), the biggest maker of glasses, rose 2.8 percent to 20.47 euros, the highest since July 26. UniCredit lifted its price estimate to 21 euros from 19.80 euros

Mediaset SpA (MS IM) gained 2.9 percent to 5.19 euros, the steepest increase in six weeks. UBS AG removed Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s television broadcaster from its “most preferred” stocks among European media companies. The brokerage continues “to like Mediaset for its structurally strong position within Italian advertising, attractive 2011 dividend yield and pay-TV business at an inflection point,” it said in a note.

Parmalat SpA (PLT IM) increased 1.7 percent to 1.91 euros, extending its 1.3 percent gain yesterday. Fidentiis Equities SV SA, which has a “buy” rating on Italy’s biggest dairy company, said in a note that “institutional investors are increasing stakes before next April’s shareholders’ meeting. The annual meeting “represents the main catalyst for Parmalat” because mandates expire for the current board.

Pirelli & C. SpA (PC IM) rose for a second day, gaining 2.6 percent to 6.28 euros. Netgem SA said that it’s studying the purchase of Pirelli’s broadband communications unit.

Details of the possible purchase haven’t been decided yet, Netgem said in a statement on Hugin.

Prysmian SpA (PRY IM), the world’s second-biggest cable maker, advanced 2.5 percent to 14.28 euros. Basic-resources stocks were the best performers in Europe today.

Copper rose to a 27-month high on prospects for increased consumption of the metal from China.

Saipem SpA (SPM IM), as Europe’s largest oilfield-services provider, jumped 3.4 percent to 32.11 euros, the highest price in at least 25 years as oil climbed for the first day in three.

Separately, the U.S. lifted a ban on deepwater oil and gas drilling ahead of schedule.

Tod’s SpA (TOD IM) advanced 2.5 percent to 69.38 euros, rising the most six weeks. Credit Agricole Cheuvreux SA resumed coverage of the luxury-goods maker with an “outperform” recommendation “for the high visibility of its growth strategy, combined with outstanding current business trends,” it said in a note. UniCredit increased its price projection to 74.50 euros from 66.50 euros.

STMicroelectronics NV (STM IM), Europe’s biggest chipmaker, climbed 2.5 percent to 5.68 euros, the stock’s largest gain in a week. Technology shares advanced in Europe after ASML Holding NV posted better-than-estimated third-quarter profit and Intel Corp. forecast sales that topped estimates.

Unione di Banche Italiane SCPA (UBI IM) advanced 3.4 percent to 7.61 euros, ending a four-day loss, as shares of Italy’s fourth-largest bank rose above their 100-day moving average.

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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