French Stocks: BNP Paribas, Bourbon, Vinci, Virbac, Vivendi

France’s CAC 40 Index surged 3.8 percent to 3,623.84 at the 5:30 p.m. close of trading in Paris, the biggest gain since May 10. The SBF 120 Index climbed 3.6 percent to 2,688.23.

The following shares were among the most active in the French equity market today. Stock symbols are in parentheses after company names.

BNP Paribas SA (BNP FP) rallied 5.9 percent to 52.3 euros and Societe Generale SA (GLE FP) climbed 5.7 percent to 42.47 euros. Better-than-estimated growth in American and Chinese manufacturing bolstered confidence in the global economic recovery, triggering a rally in financial shares.

Bourbon SA (GBB FP) sank 3.7 percent to 29 euros. The owner of the second-biggest fleet of supply and crew ships for the oil industry said first-half net income fell to 41 million euros ($52.5 million) from 82.3 million euros because of charges related to the sale of bulk carriers.

CFAO (CFAO FP), the African distributor spun off from PPR SA, rallied 7.7 percent to 25.84 euros. Sales climbed 1.1 percent in the second-quarter of 2010, topping the estimate from Exane BNP Paribas analyst Laurent Balay. He maintained his “outperform” recommendation on the shares with a price estimate of 30 euros.

Vinci SA (DG FP) climbed 4.8 percent to 36.27 euros. The world’s biggest builder said first-half net income rose 1.9 percent to 703 million euros from 690 million euros, and forecast full-year sales growth of “close” to 5 percent as higher revenue from toll roads and the purchase of Cegelec SA and Faceo add to earnings.

Virbac SA (VIRP FP) rallied 4.3 percent to 97.50 euros. The maker of worm-treatments for dogs and other veterinary drugs said first-half net income more than doubled to 38 million euros from 15.5 million euros, lifted by higher sales.

Vivendi SA (VIV FP), owner of the world’s largest record company, rallied 5 percent to 19.33 euros as earnings topped estimates and the company raised its full-year targets. First-half profit gained 4 percent to 1.53 billion euros, beating the average analyst estimate of 1.49 billion euros.

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