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Italian Stocks: Ansaldo, Autogrill, Fondiaria, Maire, Parmalat

Italy’s benchmark FTSE MIB Index reversed previous gains, losing 63.27, or 0.3 percent, to 21,094.81 as of 12:40 p.m. in Milan.

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

Amplifon SpA (AMP IM) advanced 8.5 cents, or 2.2 percent, to 3.9 euros, erasing yesterday’s decline. The world’s largest hearing-aid distributor said first-half net income rose 37 percent to 14.1 million euros ($18.3 million).

Ansaldo STS SpA (STS IM) sank 23 cents, or 2.1 percent, to 10.54 euros, extending yesterday’s loss of 8.3 percent. Cheuvreux downgraded Finmeccanica SpA’s railway-technology unit to “underperform” from “outperform,” while Exane BNP Paribas removed the stock from its “mid-caps list” after the company revised its full-year guidance down.

Separately, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Natixis Securities trimmed their price estimates to 15.4 euros from 15.42 euros and to 12 euros from 13.3 euros, respectively.

Autogrill SpA (AGL IM) declined for a third day, losing 19.5 cents, or 2 percent, to 9.78 euros. Exane BNP Paribas reiterated an “underperform” recommendation on the world’s biggest manager of airport and highway restaurants, saying “Autogrill’s valuation remains full in our view.” The brokerage lifted its price estimate to 9 euros from 8.5 euros to “reflect recent forex moves.”

Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA (BMPS IM) gained 1.9 cents, or 1.9 percent, to 1.02 euros, a third consecutive increase. Deutsche Bank AG upgraded the European banking industry to “neutral” from “underweight,” saying that “worries over leverage ratios, funding, and liquidity requirements are now much reduced.”

Davide Campari-Milano SpA (CPR IM), the maker of Skyy vodka and Wild Turkey bourbon, dropped 4.75 cents, or 1.1 percent, to 4.13 euros. Deutsche Bank downgraded the European food and beverage industry to “neutral” from “overweight.”

Parmalat SpA (PLT IM), Italy’s biggest dairy company, retreated 3.1 cents, or 1.6 percent, to 1.95 euros.

Fondiara-Sai SpA (FSA IM) increased 24.5 cents, or 3 percent, to 8.33 euros. “Shares of Italy’s second-biggest insurer are benefitting from some short covering ahead of next week’s results,” said Gabriele Roghi, head of portfolio management at Invest Banca SpA in Empoli.

Hera SpA (HER IM) gained 4.3 cents, or 3 percent, to 1.46 euros, a fifth straight increase. The regional utility said it was selling a 20 percent stake in Herambiente for 105.6 million euros.

Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP IM) lost for the first time this week, falling 3.25 cents, or 1.3 percent, to 2.57 euros. The lender is conducting due diligence at Poland’s Bank Zachodni WBK SA, a unit that parent Allied Irish Banks Plc is selling, spokeswoman Francesca Palermo Patera said today by phone from Milan.

Intesa Chief Executive Officer Corrardo Passera said the due diligence is “going well,” according to Palermo Patera.

Maire Tecnimont SpA (MT IM) climbed 11 cents, or 4 percent, to 2.87 euros, the highest in more than a month. The company won a $400 million contract to provide services in Kuwait to the Kuwait National Petroleum Company.

Saras SpA (SRS IM) fell for a second day this week, losing 2.6 cents, or 1.7 percent, to 1.54 euros. BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research downgraded the stock to “underperform” from “neutral,” saying it expects “another lackluster result, including a refining loss, when Saras reports on Aug. 10.”

The owner of the largest oil refinery in the Mediterranean also had its price estimate trimmed to 2 euros from 2.1 euros at Goldman Sachs and to 1.5 euros from 1.65 euros at Cheuvreux.

STMicroelectronics NV (STM IM), Europe’s largest semiconductor maker, rose for the first day in four, gaining 7.5 cents, or 1.2 percent, to 6.35 euros. Infineon Technologies AG, Europe’s second-largest chipmaker, raised its fiscal 2010 outlook for a third time on semiconductor demand from makers of cars and consumer electronics.

Telecom Italia SpA (TIT IM), Italy’s biggest phone company, advanced 2.6 cents, or 2.7 percent, to 1 euro, the highest since May 20. Telefonica SA reached an initial agreement to buy Portugal Telecom SGPS SA’s stake in Brazil’s Vivo Participacoes SA after raising its bid a third time to 7.5 billion euros, people close to the talks said.

The deal highlights Brazil’s potential value, Intermonte Sim SpA said in a note.

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