European Stocks Rise as Peugeot, L’Oreal Sales Exceed Estimates

European stocks rose the most in a month after results from Intel Corp. (INTC) to PSA Peugeot Citroen and L’Oreal SA (OR) spurred investor optimism in the economic recovery.

ASML Holding NV (ASML), Europe’s biggest chip-equipment maker, gained 5.3 percent as Intel posted first-quarter profit that beat forecasts and said it will generate $12.8 billion of revenue in the current period. Peugeot and L’Oreal rose at least 3 percent as sales beat the average analyst estimate at Europe’s second-biggest carmaker and the world’s largest cosmetics maker.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rallied 1.7 percent to 279.06 at the 4:30 p.m. close in London. The benchmark gauge has climbed 6.4 percent from this year’s low on March 16 as investors speculated that the economic recovery will withstand the effects of Japan’s worst earthquake on record and popular revolts in the Middle East and north Africa.

“We continue to believe that the general trend of the stock market will be higher,” said Kully Samra, who manages U.K.-based clients for Charles Schwab Corp., which has $1.5 trillion in assets. “European stocks appear to be attractively valued.”

Of the 30 companies in the Stoxx 600 that have reported earnings since April 11, 20 have beaten estimates for per-share profit, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The gauge is trading at 11.2 times the estimated earnings of its companies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with an average of 12.3 during the past five years, the data show.

National benchmark indexes climbed in every western European market except Greece and Luxembourg. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index gained 2.1 percent, Germany’s DAX Index rallied 3 percent and France’s CAC 40 Index rose 2.5 percent.

ASML, Schneider Electric

ASML surged 5.3 percent to 28.17 euros. Intel projected revenue of $12.8 billion, plus or minus $500 million, for the second quarter. That compared with the $11.9 billion average of analysts’ projections compiled by Bloomberg.

Telecity Group Plc (TCY) rose 1.5 percent to 523 pence after VMware Inc. (VMW), the biggest maker of programs that let computers run multiple operating systems, reported first-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates as it benefited from a foray into storage and desktop software.

Along with technology companies, carmakers were among the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx 600 posting the biggest gains.

Peugeot, Europe’s second-biggest carmaker, climbed 4.7 percent to 28.45 euros as revenue in the first quarter of 15.4 billion euros ($22.4 billion) beat the average analyst estimate of 14.9 billion euros in a Bloomberg survey.

Fiat, L’Oreal, Bic

Fiat SpA (F) jumped 4.6 percent to 6.58 euros as the owner of the Ferrari marque posted first-quarter earnings before interest, taxes and one-off items of 251 million euros. That beat the 241 million-euro average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

L’Oreal gained 3.2 percent to 85.88 euros after the cosmetics maker reported first-quarter sales growth that beat analysts’ estimates as customers bought more Maybelline makeup and Ralph Lauren fragrances.

Bic SA surged 6.9 percent to 64.36 euros. The world’s biggest maker of disposable pens reported an increase in first- quarter net income to 53.9 million euros from 35.4 million euros a year earlier.

HSBC, Temenos Group

HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA) climbed 1.8 percent to 651.8 pence as Morgan Stanley advised buying the shares of Europe’s largest bank. HSBC was upgraded to “overweight” from “equal weight” at Morgan Stanley.

“We believe that performance could improve meaningfully from 2010, driven by Asia, cost control, lower impairments and by leveraging its balance sheet and funding advantage to increase loan growth and gain share,” London-based analyst Steven Hayne wrote in a report dated yesterday.

Temenos Group AG (TEMN) sank 5.9 percent to 30.10 francs, its biggest decline in two months, as the banking software maker reported a first-quarter loss of $10.9 million and executives sold shares.

Greek banks fell as a German official said the Mediterranean nation will probably have to restructure its debt. National Bank of Greece SA (ETE) slid 4.2 percent to 5.24 euros. EFG Eurobank Ergasias plunged 8.5 percent to 3.36 euros and Alpha Bank AE (ALPHA) tumbled 8.4 percent to 3.58 euros.

“I fear that Greece can’t get out of this situation without some kind of restructuring,” Lars Feld, a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s council of economic advisers, told Deutschlandfunk radio today. That could involve “the buyback of bonds through a European institution,” Feld said, without elaborating.

Banca Popolare di Milano Scarl (PMI) tumbled 8.6 percent to 2.31 euros as Italy’s oldest cooperative bank said it plans to raise as much as 1.2 billion euros by selling new shares.

Bank of England policy makers voted 6-3 to keep interest rates on hold this month as the majority said that data on the economy over the previous month had “probably been to the downside.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in London at ahaigh1@bloomberg.net

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

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