Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- German stocks climbed to a record as Daimler AG and Software AG rallied after reporting earnings, while a report showed China’s manufacturing strengthened more than forecast.
Daimler advanced to its highest price since January 2008 after reporting third-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates. Software AG gained 4.2 percent after Germany’s second-largest software maker confirmed its targets for 2013. Celesio AG jumped 5.4 percent after McKesson Corp. agreed to buy a majority stake in the drug wholesaler.
The DAX Index added 0.7 percent to 8,980.63 at the close of trading in Frankfurt, an all-time high. The equity benchmark has increased 4.5 percent this month as U.S. lawmakers agreed to lift the debt ceiling and investors speculated that a worse-than-forecast payrolls report would delay a reduction in the Federal Reserve’s bond purchases. The broader HDAX Index also rose 0.7 percent today.
“Daimler’s numbers seem positive, giving the whole car sector a push today,” Christoph Hock, an equity sales trader at Alpha Wertpapierhandels GmbH in Frankfurt, said in an e-mail.
Daimler rose 3.3 percent to 60.32 euros. The third-biggest maker of luxury cars reported a 16 percent increase in earnings before interest and taxes to 2.23 billion euros ($3.1 billion) from 1.92 billion euros a year earlier. That beat the 2.09 billion-euro average estimate of 11 analysts.
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG added 1.9 percent to 83.56 euros as a gauge of carmakers posted the largest gain on the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
Software AG climbed 4.2 percent to 26.87 euros after reiterating that its business-process unit will increase revenue by as much as 22 percent this year. The software maker also reported third-quarter Ebit of 49.1 million euros, exceeding the average analyst estimate of 48.6 million euros.
Celesio jumped 5.4 percent to 22.90 euros after McKesson agreed to acquire the 50.01 percent stake held by Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH, a family-owned investment company, for 23 euros a share. The U.S. pharmaceutical distributor will begin a tender offer to buy the remaining publicly traded shares at the same price, the companies said in a statement.
In China, a purchasing managers’ index showed that manufacturing activity accelerated this month. The preliminary reading for HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics’ PMI rose to 50.9 in October from 50.2 in September. That beat the 50.4 median estimate from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.
HeidelbergCement AG dropped 2.3 percent to 57.91 euros after Credit Suisse Group AG downgraded the world’s third-largest cement maker to underperform, similar to a sell recommendation, from neutral. The brokerage reduced its projections for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2014 and 2015, citing concern about the market for the company’s products in Indonesia. Credit Suisse also cut its price forecast to 47 euros a share from 58 euros.
Tom Tailor Holding AG declined 1.5 percent to 16.65 euros after the Hamburg-based clothing company sold 1.82 new shares at 16.25 euros each.
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