On the Move: Man Group, Thales, Deutsche Boerse

Plus: Repsol, ASML, Fiat and other European companies making headlines Wednesday

From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope

United Kingdom

MAN GROUP was up £0.16 to £4.76. The company has appointed investment bankers to advise it on a demerger of Man Financial, its brokerage arm, The Times wrote. Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse have been asked to work on splitting Man financial from the core hedge fund group to gauge investor appetite for a flotation on the NYSE (NYX), the paper wrote.

REUTERS was down £0.10 to £4.28. The company posted third quarter total revenue of £631 million, +3.3%; constant currency revenue growth 4.6%. It added that all four elements of Core Plus are now generating revenue.


THALES was up €0.72 to €36.70. Rumors say the company could be interested in taking over Safran. Safran's shares were up 6%.

RENAULT was down €0.30 to €87.20. SocGen downgraded the stock to sell from buy. It said the share value already integrates margins improvement by 2009. It believes short-term news flow will be negative on a falling market and lack of new products.


DEUTSCHE BOERSE was up €1.82 to €127.77. Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings Inc. is buying cross-town rival CBOT Holdings Inc. for more than US$8 billion, creating the world's largest publicly traded exchange by market cap. Merck Finck expects the merger of CME/CBOT will have only little impact on the company's current operations.

DAIMLERCHRYSLER (DCX) was up €0.38 to €40.89. Jan.-Sept. N.E. Asia sales were up 37% - In another development, the company will extend the contracts of board members Ruediger Grube and Andreas Renschler, wrote Handelsblatt.


FIAT (FIA) was up €0.42 to €13.21. Intermonte raised its target to €18 from €14. The broker reiterated its buy recommendation, saying it is confident that the company will deliver strong third quarter profits on Oct. 26. It added that the company is expected to sustain solid growth rates until 2010.


ASML was down €1.04 to €17.96. Third quarter net profit was ahead of expectations coming in at €172 million. Net bookings rose to 95 machines against 93 in the previous quarter. Net sales come in at €958 million, up 80% year-over-year vs. expectations of €924 million.

AKZO NOBEL was down €3.38 to €44.18. The company announced third quarter operating income (excl. incidentals) of €364, below consensus expectations, and 14% higher year-over-year. Revenue came in at €3.45 billion vs. expectations of €3.5 billion.


M-REAL was up €0.60 to €4.76. The company announced an extensive plan to cut costs and capacity and appointed a new CEO. The shares soared on news that the company will slash unprofitable assets, cut jobs and make savings of about €100 million.

SWEDISH MATCH was up SEK3.00 to SEK117.00. Deutsche Bank upgraded the company to buy from hold and raised its target price to SEK125 from SEK120. The broker argued that large excise tax increases always sound scary but, as so often in tobacco, investors need to look beyond volume losses to see what could happen to pricing.

SCANIA was down SEK7.00 to SEK491.50. It is understood that Germany's MAN will hold its first official talks with Investor AB next week over the MAN's unsolicited bid for the company.


IBERDROLA was up €0.25 to €34.65. The company posted nine months net profit up 26% to €1.24 billion and EBITDA up 23% to €2.93 billion. The numbers were ahead of consensus expectations.

REPSOL YPF (REP) was down €0.63 to €25.07. Apart from Sacyr, the company will have to look for another stable shareholder to replace La Caixa, according to ElConfidencial.com. It said La Caixa is reorganizing its industrial portfolio and will cut its stake in the company. Separately, HSBC downgraded it to underweight from equal weight and lifted its target to €24 from €23.50.


SYNTHES was up CHF1.90 to CHF134.40. The company reported quarterly sales of US$595 million, up 15.7% year-over-year and in line with expectations. It reiterated its 2006 outlook for double-digit sales growth in local currencies.

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