French Stocks: Alcatel, Beneteau, Cegedim, Credit Agricole, EADS

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France’s CAC 40 Index rose 71.87, or 1.9 percent, to 3,782.48 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Paris. The gauge gained 1.6 percent this week. The SBF 120 Index advanced

1.8 percent to 2,808.87 today.

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

Alcatel-Lucent SA (ALU FP) surged 7.5 percent to 2.49 euros, the stock’s highest price since April. France’s biggest telecommunications equipment maker was upgraded to “buy” from “add” at Oddo Securities.

Beneteau SA (BEN FP) jumped 6.2 percent to 13.25 euros, after falling for two days. The world’s biggest sailboat maker said fourth-quarter sales rose 41 percent to 209.9 million euros ($283 million). Full-year sales jumped 18 percent, beating the company’s initial forecast. Natixis Securities lifted its recommendation to “buy” from “neutral.”

Cegedim SA (CGM FP) sank 18 percent to 46.2 euros, the biggest loss in almost eight years, as the medical information-services provider said it’s “no longer” aiming to improve its margin for 2010 following its first-half results. Cegedim had its rating cut at Natixis, Societe Generale SA, Oddo and CM-CIC Securities.

Credit Agricole SA (ACA FP) increased 5 percent to 11.97 euros, erasing a two-day loss. Morgan Stanley, Kepler Capital Markets and Credit Suisse Group AG lifted their price estimates to 13.5 euros, 13.8 euros and 15 euros, respectively.

European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. (EAD FP) climbed

3.8 percent to 19.25 euros, the biggest increase in two months. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded EADS to “overweight” from “neutral.”

Havas SA (HAV FP) rose for the first day in three, gaining

1.1 percent to 3.63 euros. The owner of the Euro RSCG Worldwide advertising agency was upgraded to “overweight” from “equal weight” at Barclays Capital.

L’Oreal SA (OR FP) advanced 2.5 percent to 84.01 euros. The French cosmetic company’s second-largest shareholder, Nestle SA, announced that its Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe and Chief Executive Officer Paul Bulcke will hold a conference on Sept. 27 at a research institute in Lausanne, Switzerland. Nestle Spokesman Ferhat Soygenis said the conference has no link to L’Oreal.

Remy Cointreau SA (RCO FP) increased 2 percent to 48.5 euros, the stock’s third straight gain. France’s second-largest liquor company was upgraded to “neutral” from “underweight” at JPMorgan.

Societe Generale SA (GLE FP) surged 3.9 percent to 45.21 euros. A gauge for European banks reversed losses after a report showed a rebound in demand for U.S. capital goods, easing concern that the recovery is slowing.

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