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Fiat, Mediaset, Parmalat, UniCredit: Italian Equity Preview

The following companies may be active in Italian trading. Stock symbols are in parentheses and share prices are from the previous close.

Italy’s benchmark FTSE MIB Index climbed 29.71, or 0.1 percent, to 21,556.82 in Milan.

Assicurazioni Generali SpA (G IM): Europe’s third-biggest insurer had its price estimate trimmed to 19.3 euros from 20.9 euros at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Ltd. The shares rose 1.3 percent to 15.11 euros.

Credito Emiliano SpA (CE IM): Nomura Holdings Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lowered their price estimates on the lender to 5.4 euros and to 5.6 euros, respectively. The shares rose 1.3 percent to 4.9 euros.

Fiat SpA (F IM): Italian Labor Minister Maurizio Sacconi said the status of negotiations between Italy’s biggest carmaker and labor unions on an investment plan for a plant in Grugliasco near the city of Turin is “worrisome.”

Fiat had its price estimate trimmed to 7.5 euros from 8 euros at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Fiat lost 1.1 percent to 6.03 euros.

Fondiaria-Sai SpA (FSA IM): UniCredit SpA will acquire 6.6 percent of Fondiaria after agreeing to buy shares from Premafin Finanziaria SpA. Fondiaria dropped 2.1 percent to 6.64 euros.

Mediaset SpA (MS IM): The broadcaster controlled by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said 2010 profit rose 29 percent on higher advertising sales in Italy and Spain. Mediaset also increased its dividend to 35 euro cents from 22 euro cents and forecast an increase in net income this year. Shares fell 0.3 percent to 4.50 euros.

Milano Assicurazioni SpA (MI IM): Mediobanca Securities cut its recommendation on the company to “neutral” from “outperform.” The shares sank 8.7 percent to 1.08 euros.

Parmalat SpA (PLT IM): Italian confectionery maker Ferrero SpA said in a statement it was still interested in an Italian “industrial plan” for Parmalat.

Separately, Granarolo SpA’s Chief Executive Officer Gianpiero Calzolari said he sees “no common interest” with France’s Groupe Lactalis on Parmalat. He spoke after Lactalis said it will buy out a group of shareholders in a bid for control of Parmalat, Italy’s biggest dairy company. Parmalat fell 7.1 percent to 2.29 euros.

UniCredit SpA (UCG IM): Italy’s biggest bank by assets reported 2010 net income of 1.32 billion euros. That compares with the 1.29 billion-euro average estimate of 20 analysts in a Bloomberg survey. The company proposed a dividend of 3 euro cents, matching a forecast by Bloomberg, and approved the partial spin off of Pioneer Investment Management SgrpA’s private banking business into UniCredit. The shares lost 0.7 percent to 1.76 euros.

Unipol Gruppo Finanziario SpA (UNI IM): JPMorgan lowered its price estimate on Italy’s third-biggest insurer to 55 euro cents from 67 euro cents. The shares added 0.5 percent to 48.24 euro cents.

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