Benelux Stocks: Ahold, ASML, ASM, Anheuser-Busch InBev Move

The Netherlands’ AEX-Index (AEX) rose 2.74 points, or 0.8 percent, to 367.6 at the close of 5:35 p.m. in Amsterdam. Belgium’s Bel20 Index added 0.1 percent to 2,692.02.

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

Dutch stocks:

ASML Holding NV (ASML) rose 2.6 percent to 32.72 euros, advancing for a third day. Europe’s biggest maker of semiconductor equipment was rated “buy” in new coverage at Societe Generale SA.

ASM International NV (ASM) fell 2.4 percent to 29.55 euros, partly erasing yesterday’s increase. Europe’s second- largest maker of semiconductor equipment reported fourth-quarter net income of 25 million euros ($34.6 million), missing the 53 million-euro average of two analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Delta Lloyd NV (DL) climbed 3.6 percent, the largest gain in more than three weeks, to 18.06 euros. Aviva Plc’s publicly traded Dutch insurance unit reported its first profit in three years as cost savings and higher investment returns outweighed a one-off charge from longevity expectations.

Heijmans NV (HEIJM) added 2.7 percent to 17.34 euros, erasing two days of losses. The Dutch construction firm was upgraded to “buy” from “hold” at KBC Groep NV.

Pharming Group NV (PHARM) declined 4 percent to 14.3 euro cents, its second straight drop. The Dutch drug developer that uses the milk of genetically modified rabbits said its 2010 loss widened to 50.2 million euros from 32.1 million euros in 2009.

Royal Ahold NV (AH NA) lost 2.7 percent to 9.44 euros, the lowest since December. The owner of Stop & Shop supermarkets in the U.S. said fourth-quarter net income fell to 154 million euros, missing the 241 million-euro average of eight analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Ahold said it plans to buy back 1 billion euros in stock.

Royal BAM Groep NV (BAMNB NA) surged 11 percent, the biggest increase since August 2009, to 5.20 euros. The largest Dutch builder reported 2010 net income of 15.3 million euros. The average estimate was for a loss of 300,000 euros in a Bloomberg survey of eight analysts.

Belgian stocks:

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI) added 2.3 percent to 41.11 euros, the biggest increase in almost a month. The world’s largest brewer reported fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates as cost savings exceeded the company’s annual target.

Option NV (OPTI) slumped 6.7 percent to 56 euro cents, the lowest price since November. The Belgian maker of wireless broadband-access devices reported a second-half loss of 40.5 million euros compared with a loss of 36.9 million euros a year earlier.

To contact the reporters on this story: Martijn van der Starre in Amsterdam at vanderstarre@bloomberg.net; Fred Pals in Amsterdam at fpals@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net

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