Italian Stocks Little Changed; Fiat, Interpump, Parmalat, Telecom Active
Italy’s benchmark FTSE MIB Index rose 25.34, or 0.1 percent, to 22,050.45 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Milan. The measure gained 9.3 percent this month, the best performance since April 2009.
The following stocks were among the most active in the Italian market today.
Benetton Group SpA (BEN IM) dropped 2.2 percent to 5.08 euros, a second day of losses, as Italy’s largest clothing maker said rising raw-material costs may hurt profit in the coming months.
DiaSorin SpA (DIA IM) rose 1.4 percent to 34.95 euros, erasing losses on Jan. 28. Societe Generale SA initiated coverage of the supplier of diagnostic tests with a “buy” and a price estimate of 44 euros.
Fiat SpA (F IM) increased 1.5 percent to 7.09 euro, snapping a two-day loss. “The shares are benefiting from the closing of some short positions,” said Alberto Magnani, a fund manager at Abbacus Sim SpA in Genoa, Italy. He said “today’s numbers by Chrysler Group LLC were in line with expectations.”
Interpump Group SpA (IP IM) gained 4.6 percent to 5.75 euros, the biggest gain in almost three weeks. Mediobanca Securities upgraded the world’s biggest maker of high- performance pumps to “outperform” from “neutral.” The brokerage expects Interpump to post a “strong set of fourth- quarter figures,” it said in a note.
Italcementi SpA (IT IM), Italy’s biggest cement maker, fell 3.7 percent to 5.9 euros, losing for a sixth day. The company has temporarily halted its five factories in Egypt, Radiocor reported, without saying how it obtained the information.
The company has evacuated 100 employees and families, the news agency said.
Parmalat SpA (PLT IM) advanced 1.9 percent to 2.32 euros. A group of Parmalat SpA investors is considering pushing to replace Chief Executive Officer Enrico Bondi with a CEO who has more experience in the international food industry, three people familiar with the situation said.
Telecom Italia SpA (TIT IM) declined 1.5 percent to 1.04 euros, extending a 2.4 percent loss on Jan. 28. Equita Sim SpA downgraded Italy’s biggest phone company to “reduce” from “hold,” saying in a note that the shares “benefitted from increased propensity to invest in Italian equity.” The broker said “the stock is destined to underperform if not supported by clear signs of domestic business stabilization that we do not expect in the first half of 2011.”
Telecom Italia Media SpA (TME IM) increased 2 percent to 19.52 euro cents, a third gain in four days. Gruppo Banca Leonardo increased its price estimate on the company to 20 cents from 18 ents, while keeping an “underweight” rating, after Telecom Italia Media signed two new digital terrestrial bandwidth agreements.
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