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F-Secure Falls as Nordea Sees Offer Unlikely on Forecast

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July 23 (Bloomberg) -- F-Secure Oyj dropped to a 7 1/2-week low as an analyst at Nordea Bank AB said the Finnish data-security software developer is unlikely to attract a takeover bid after cutting its sales forecast.

F-Secure fell as much as 5.1 percent to 5.1 percent, the lowest intraday level since May 30, based on closing prices, and was trading down 4.1 percent at 2:48 p.m. in Helsinki. Trading volume exceeded 125,000 shares, about 86 percent of the three-month daily average.

The company said yesterday that revenue this year will remain at about the 2012 figure, compared with an earlier estimate of growth exceeding 5 percent. Martti Larjo, an analyst at Nordea, said the reduction prompted the bank to lower its recommendation to strong sell from sell, as he wasn’t expecting any forecast cut by F-Secure until later this year.

“We cut our sales estimates by 4 percent for this year, which will have about 10 percent negative impact on earnings,” Larjo said in a report to clients today.

The stock has declined a third consecutive trading day, paring the gain this year to 21 percent. Takeover speculation was spurred following Intel Corp.’s bid for Finland’s Stonesoft Oyj on May 6. Other small software companies including Innofactor Oyj and SSH Communications Security Oyj have experienced similar stock jumps.

“We do not expect to see a bid for F-Secure,” Larjo said. “There could be an acquisition interest in F-Secure’s content cloud business but, as this represents less than 10 percent of the group, it would be too expensive for a prospective buyer.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Kasper Viita in Helsinki at kviita1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Wienberg at cwienberg@bloomberg.net

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