Italian Stocks: Azimut, Fiat Industrial, Impregilo, STM, Tod’s

Italy’s benchmark FTSE MIB Index rose 280.87, or 1.4 percent, to 20,339.05 at the 5:30 p.m. close in Milan, ending two days of declines.

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

Azimut Holding SpA (AZM IM) advanced for the first day in three, rising 4.6 percent to 7.06 euros. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating on Italy’s largest independent fund manager after “Azimut signed an agreement which will lead to the establishment of a newco in Hong Kong.”

The brokerage said that “this area will help contributing to the 1 billion-euro ($1.3 billion) yearly net inflows we have as an estimate for 2011 and 2012.”

Banca Popolare di Milano Scrl (PMI IM) increased 2.4 percent to 2.55 euros. Societe Generale SA lifted its stance on European banks to “overweight,” saying in a note that “a bout of bank outperformance is around the corner,” and “the banking sector is very oversold relative to the market.”

Banco Popolare SC (BP IM) rose 2.9 percent to 3.27 euros. Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP IM) gained 2.5 percent to 1.94 euros.

Fiat Industrial SpA (FI IM) surged 5.4 percent to 10.16 euros, gaining for a fourth day. The company expressed interest in buying Volkswagen AG’s stakes in MAN SE and Scania AB should VW put the holdings up for sale, Fiat’s two top executives said.

“We’re not a seller of assets, but at Fiat we are potentially acquirers if Volkswagen wants to divest its truck assets,” Fiat SpA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said at the Detroit auto show today. Spokesmen for MAN, VW and Scania all declined to comment.

Impregilo SpA (IPG IM) jumped 6.6 percent to 2.18 euros, ending four days of losses, as shares of Italy’s largest construction company rose above their 20-, 50-, 100- and 200-day moving averages.

Pininfarina SpA (PINF IM) climbed 13 percent to 5.75 euros, the highest price since October 2008. French entrepreneur Vincent Bollore sent a letter to Italian auto designer Pininfarina about 15 days ago expressing his interest in investing in the company, daily Il Messaggero reported.

Pirelli & C. SpA (PC IM), Europe’s third-largest tiremaker, climbed 2 percent to 6.02 euros. Continental AG, Europe’s second-biggest tiremaker, beat revenue and earnings goals for 2010 as unusually snowy weather in Europe led to increased fourth-quarter winter-tire sales.

Piquadro SpA (PQ IM) surged 5.5 percent to 2.40 euros, the highest price since its listing in 2007, as revenue for the nine months that ended on Dec. 31 rose 19 percent to 43.9 million euros, the company said in a statement. Piquadro reported that its third-quarter sales increased about 21 percent.

STMicroelectronics NV (STM IM) advanced 5 percent to 8.66 euros, snapping two days of declines. Exane BNP Paribas reiterated an “outperform” rating on Europe’s largest semiconductor maker, citing in a note an “attractive risk/reward” profile and saying that “we believe STM is again winning market share and growing margins.”

Terna Rete Elettrica Nazionale SpA (TRN IM) slid 1.2 percent to 3.10 euros, falling for a second day. Exane BNP Paribas downgraded the operator of Italy’s power grid to “underperform” from “neutral.”

Tod’s SpA (TOD IM) increased 5.1 percent to 78.81 euros, its largest gain since August. The luxury-goods maker was raised to “buy” from “underweight” at Gruppo Banca Leonardo, which said in a note that “we appreciate the increase of the free float and we believe that the current share price is a buying opportunity, given the company’s strong fundamentals.”

UniCredit SpA (UCG IM) ended four days of losses, gaining 2.3 percent to 1.51 euros. BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research added Italy’s biggest lender to its “most preferred” stocks in the European banking industry.

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