On The Move: VW, E.On, Suez

Plus: Nestle, Tenaris, Novo Nordisk, and other European companies making headlines Thursday

From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope

United Kingdom

HBOS was up £0.18 to £11.02. For the fiscal year to Dec. 31, the company sees performance exceeding market expectations for underlying EPS of 96.8p, adding that growth in lending, at the upper end of the anticipated range, is being delivered with modest margin impact.

TRINITY MIRROR was down £0.25 to £4.73. The company said advertising revenues for the 5 months to Nov. 2006, excluding acquisitions and disposals completed in 2005 and 2006, fell by 8.4% year-over-year and advertising revenues for the Nationals division fell by 8.8%, with a 10.3% decline in the UK Nationals and a 5.0% decline in the Scottish National titles.


SCHNEIDER was down €0.90 to €82.60. The company, Areva and Alstom are among the seven companies that may be fined by the EU for restricting competition in the market for electricity transmission gear, Les Echos said.

SUEZ (SZE) was up €0.44 to €38.30. The company has proposed buying a 30% stake in GDF, the FT reported. The company's CEO Gerard Mestrallet proposed the alternative to a full merger at a meeting on Dec. 12.


E.ON was up €0.91 to €102.40. The company plans to invest €25.3 billion for 2007-09. It reportedly plans to spend about €2.9 billion largely to acquire shareholdings in Yuzhno Russkoye. It also plans to build a 1,100 mw coal-fired power station at Staudinger.

VW was down €0.01 to €84.14. The company saw €951 million profit gain from a tax law change in Germany for 2006, reportedly. It maintained its earnings outlook.

DAIMLERCHRYSLER (DCX) was up €0.22 to €45.80. Chrysler plans to halt production at several plants over the Christmas holiday in an effort to pare inventory, reported the WSJ.


NORSK HYDRO was up NOK5.75 to NOK155.00. Goldman upgraded the company to buy from neutral and added it to the conviction buy list. The broker believes the market's disappointment with the company's lower production target and the 24% underperformance vs. the sector since May provide investors with a good opportunity to buy the stock.

NOVO NORDISK (NVO) was up DKK11.50 to DKK4668.00. Citigroup upgraded the company to buy from hold and raised the target price to DKK525 vs. DKK445. It said there is upside potential from liraglutide not reflected in the share price.


GETRONICS was down €0.03 to €5.60. The company said it is to issue up to €100 million in convertible bonds due in 2014 to finance a tender offer for existing bonds. The coupon range is between 3.875% and 4.375%.


TENARIS was up €0.50 to €19.00. Shares continued to rally at the market open, as rumors circulated on Gazprom's possible interest in making a bid for the company. Yesterday, the suggested price for Gazprom's bid was €24 a share.


SOGECABLE was up €0.60 to €26.50. The company's shares gained on vague talk that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp (NWS) could be interested in the company, and is no longer interested in Antena 3.


NESTLE was up CHF9.50 to CHF439.25. Novartis is selling its medical nutrition business to the company for US$2.5 billion, with the latter not expecting the acquisition to have a material effect on earnings in the short term.

NOVARTIS (NVS) was up CHF1.25 to CHF71.35. The company is divesting its Medical Nutrition business unit to Nestle for US$2.525 million. Separately, the U.S. regulatory review for high blood pressure medicine Tekturna has been extended by up to three months to allow the FDA time to consider additional clinical data submitted by the company in early December.

ADECCO was down CHF0.55 to CHF83.25. UBS downgraded the company to neutral from buy. It said U.S. uncertainty motivates a more cautious stance.