business

On the Move: Carrefour, Axel Springer, Teliasonera

Plus: Capita, Danone, Air Berlin, and more European stocks making headlines Thursday

UK

MICHAEL PAGE was up £0.24 to £5.83... Panmure upgrades to buy from hold, raises target to £6.30 from £5.30. The company says second quarter gross profit was significantly better than expectations and with a strong global economy and a shortage of managerial talent driving demand and the company having increased headcount by 12% since the year end the outlook for profits remains very buoyant. In its trading update, the company reports second quarter gross profit of £121 million, +38.4% year-over-year. The company says at constant exchange rates, second quarter growth rate was 40.4%, 38.7% for first half. In the UK, gross profit reached £47.9 million in second quarter.

CAPITA was up £0.16 to £7.48... Deutsche Bank ups target to £8.0 from £7.0, retains buy. The broker believes current earnings multiple looks full, but given the compelling growth and margin outlook, still sees upside risk to forecasts. Thinks growth and margin assumptions are still conservative.

France

CARREFOUR was up €1.33 to €54.08... Merrill Lynch upgrades to buy from neutral with €59 target. The company says that the market is expecting a downbeat second quarter trading update; and first half results, to be announced on 30 August, will likely be weak, with group EBIT possibly even declining. Broker today cuts EPS forecasts by c.3%. Yet, believes conditions in France must surely brighten in time and the interims will also bring news of Blue's (Colony and Mr. Arnault) goals. Warns not to expect miracles overnight, but with the shares just above Blue's entry price into the company , says the risk-reward appears skewed to the upside.

DANONE (DA) was up €0.40 to €62.21... Pepsi may bid for Danone - press - Market sources note rumour Pepsi may bid for the company Traders say this comes from French radio station BFM. Other source says this rumour is unfounded. Investors in UK dairy Robert Wiseman have been told that increasing packaging costs could hit earnings. The FT quotes Wiseman chairman Alan Wiseman as saying 'HDPE [high density polyethylene - used in milk cartons] costs have risen further [...] and will impact our outlook unless these costs subside'.

Germany

AIR BERLIN was up €1.02 to €17.12... Talk of Ryanair hovering - the company won't comment on the matter.

PREMIERE was up €0.78 to €18.39... Watchdog says Arena deal okay with minor adjustments - A final decision on the football marketing deal is expected by the middle of this month.

AXEL SPRINGER was up €4.99 to €134.99... Drops plans for French newspaper / Broker action - JP Morgan initiates with neutral and €143 target. The company says core publishing operations fully priced in. Sees long-term potential in non-core operations.

Italy

UNICREDIT was down €0.01 to €6.71... Sets 2008 tier 1 target at 6.8% - CEO Alessandro Profumo says the group will meet core tier 1 target via risk weighted asset reduction. Adds acquisitions would put core tier 1 at 6.2% by the end of 2008 and confirms tier 1 the target at 6.8%. Rumours that the company is preparing an acquisition of the Ukrainian bank Ukrsotsbank, for not less than EUR 1.1 billion. Holds Capital Markets Day in Milan today. the company 's CEO Alessandro Profumo is expected to present a strategy update.

INTESA SANPAOLO was down €0.03 to €5.52... Targets Ente Carifirenze and Qingdao Bank China - the company could buy a 32% stake in Ente Carifirenze, the main shareholder of Carifirenze, Corriere della Sera says. Intesa and the foundation would then launch a public offer on minorities at EUR 6.95 per share. the company will sign an agreement on 12 July to take a 19.9% stake in Qingdao City Commercial Bank the company of China, valued at CNY1.04 billion or €100 million, writes the Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the situation.

Nordic

TELIASONERA was up SEK0.75 to SEK52.75...

JP Morgan upgrades to neutral vs underweight. The broker lifts target to SEK55 vs SEK50. Broker raises rating as it notes significant upgrades to the emerging market operations show the company to be trading in line with the sector, whereas in the past the company has tended to trade at a premium.

ELEKTA was down SEK2.75 to SEK114.75... Belgian radiation equipment problems - Patients in Belgian hospital may have been exposed to wrong dose of radiation from equipment supplied by the company the company blames compatibility problems with other devices. The Fed Agency for Nuclear Control will investigate and the courts will use the information to assess liability, according to Expatica. Meanwhile, the company yesterday initiated a share buyback program.

WILLIAM DEMANT was down DKK4.00 to DKK549.00... Lehman initiates with underweight - Lehman Brothers initiates coverage with an underweight rating and a DKK490 price target. The broker says hearing aid sector benefits from solid underlying demand and that the company can continue to outgrow market mid-term. Nevertheless, Lehman believes the company valuation fully reflects this potential, but does not reflect longer-term structural challenges industry faces.

Spain

SACYR-VALLEHERMOSO was up €0.73 to €36.60... To receive €89 million in Repsol dividends - the company , Repsol's largest shareholder with a 20% stake, will be paid €89 million in dividends. Repsol YPF trades ex-final dividend today at €0.36 (total dividend was €0.72).

TELEFONICA was up €0.06 to €16.61... 02 wins UK's iPhone deal - The Times O2 has beaten its rivals to win the exclusive UK rights to offer Apples iPhone, according to The Times. The company says the tie-up is the mobile phone industry's most sought-after deal in years, and the final contract is expected to be signed imminently. Adds it is understood that negotiations are continuing with mobile phone retailers including Carphone Warehouse over an agreement to sell the iPhone in their stores after a period of exclusivity with O2.

Switzerland

SGS was up CHF29.00 to CHF1519.00... Buy ahead of first half results - Credit Suisse - Broker sees further upside potential given the revenue/margin opportunities and ongoing flexing of the balance sheet, it says. the company remains one of its top picks within the Swiss universe in 2007. the company is due to release numbers on 16 July.

PHONAK was up CHF3.40 to CHF115.90... Lehman initiates with overweight and CHF124 price target. Sees further upside with or without ReSound.

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE