Italian Stocks Gain; Amplifon, Azimut, Enel, Eni, Italcementi, Saipem Move

Italy’s benchmark FTSE MIB Index added 475.14, or 2.2 percent, to 22,525.59, the highest since April last year, at the 5:30 p.m. close in Milan.

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

Amplifon SpA (AMP IM) advanced 6.8 percent to 3.95 euros, the biggest gain since May 10. Shares of the world’s largest hearing-aid distributor rose above their 20-, 50-, 100- and 200- day moving averages today.

AS Roma SpA (ASR IM) rose 3.6 percent to 1.25 euros, the highest price since June 2008. UniCredit SpA, Italy’s biggest lender, and the Sensi family are reviewing several binding offers to buy the soccer team.

The bids will be examined considering “quantitative and qualitative” elements, Compagnia Italpetroli SpA, the Sensis’ holding company, said in statement late yesterday, without identifying the potential buyers.

Azimut Holding SpA (AZM IM), Italy’s largest independent fund manager, gained 4 percent to 7.98 euros, as the Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose for the first time in three days.

Intermonte Sim SpA raised its stance on asset managers to “positive” from “neutral” in its monthly strategy note on the Italian equity market.

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA (BMPS IM) lost 1.6 percent to 91.45 euro cents. Italy’s third largest bank delayed a planned sale of covered bonds, according to two bankers with direct knowledge of the deal.

Benetton Group SpA (BEN IM) lost for a third day, retreating 2.7 percent to 4.94 euros. Italy’s largest clothing maker had its price estimate lowered to 4.5 euros from 5 euros at CA Cheuvreux, which reiterated an “underperform” rating, and to 6.1 euros from 6.4 euros at Equita Sim SpA. The broker has a “buy” rating on the stock. Both brokerages cited pressure on profitability.

Buzzi Unicem SpA (BZU IM) added 5.2 percent to 9.67 euros, snapping two days of losses. Jefferies Group Inc. lifted its price estimate on the ordinary shares of Italy’s second-biggest cement maker to 9.40 euros from 8.80 euros.

Buzzi also had its price estimate increased by 33 percent to 8 euros at Exane BNP Paribas.

Enel SpA (ENEL IM) gained 2.2 percent to 4.22 euros, rising for a second day. Italy’s biggest utility had its price estimate increased to 5.3 euros from 5 euros at Morgan Stanley. The brokerage reiterated an “overweight” recommendation.

Eni SpA (ENI IM) advanced for the first day in three, rising 4.1 percent to 18.01 euros. Italy’s biggest oil company was rated “buy” at Berenberg Bank, which set a price estimate of 20 euros for the stock.

ERG SpA (ERG IM) declined 2 percent to 10.23 euros, ending a three-day gain. The refiner exercised an option to sell 11 percent of the Isab Srl Priolo refinery in Italy to co-owner OAO Lukoil (LKOH RU). The stake was valued at 205 million euros ($280 million), the company said after markets closed.

“Although the move goes in the direction of our equity story on ERG, investors may be disappointed by the partial exercise of the put option,” UniCredit Research wrote in a note.

Fiat SpA (F IM) increased 1.8 percent to 7.22 euros, gaining for a second day. Mediobanca Securities reiterated its “buy” rating on the Italian carmaker, after Chrysler Group LLC posted full-year operating profit that exceeded its own forecast yesterday. Fiat owns a stake in Chrysler.

Italcementi SpA (IT IM) surged 6.1 percent to 6.26 euros, its first gain in seven days. Jefferies upgraded Italy’s biggest cement maker to “buy” from “hold,” and increased its price estimate on the ordinary shares to 8.80 euros from 6.50 euros.

Saipem SpA (SPM IM) advanced 3.9 percent to 37.98 euros, the highest since at least 26 years. Energy stocks, including Eni and Saipem, were named as Intermonte Sim SpA’s preferred picks in the Italian equity market.

STMicroelectronics NV (STM IM), Europe’s largest chipmaker, rose 1.5 percent to 8.98 euros. Infineon Technologies AG, Europe’s second-largest chipmaker, raised its full-year forecast after reporting a better-than-predicted first-quarter profit.

Telecom Italia SpA (TIT IM) rose 2.7 percent to 1.07 euros, after falling 3.9 percent in two days. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc reiterated a “buy” rating on Italy’s biggest phone company, saying that “Telecom Italia’s current market valuation reflects a bearish scenario for the domestic mobile business and, as a result, risk is skewed to the upside.”

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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