uropean Stocks Advance for Second Day; Heineken Rallies

European stocks advanced for a second day, erasing an earlier drop, as companies from Heineken NV to PSA Peugeot Citroen reported better-than-estimated results and euro-area industrial output rose more than forecast.

Heineken, the world’s third-largest brewer, rallied to a record. Peugeot climbed 7 percent after France’s biggest automaker reported a narrower operating loss than predicted. Kabel Deutschland Holding AG jumped 9 percent as Vodafone Group Plc was said to consider a bid for Germany’s largest cable provider. Societe Generale SA slid 3.8 percent after posting a wider-than-estimated loss.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.4 percent to 288.18 at 4:30 p.m. in London, after dropping as much as 0.3 percent. The gauge has gained 3.1 percent this year as U.S. lawmakers agreed on a budget avoiding tax increases and spending cuts that had threatened to push the world’s largest economy into a recession.

“Considering the fact that there haven’t been too many earnings disappointments, we’re already thinking about what will happen next quarter,” said Pierre Mouton, a fund manager at Notz Stucki & Cie., which oversees $6 billion in Geneva. “The macro economy is improving. In Europe things are moving in the right direction. We’re pretty positive on stocks. There is a good possibility that companies can beat expectations next quarter.”

Industrial Output

Euro-area industrial production increased more than economists forecast in December. Factory production in the 17-nation currency bloc rose 0.7 percent from November, when it declined a revised 0.7 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Economists had forecast a gain of 0.2 percent, according to the median of 41 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

About 54 percent of western European companies that have reported earnings since Jan. 8 beat analysts’ projections for profit, according to Bloomberg data. Fifty-one percent exceeded revenue forecasts.

AstraZeneca Plc, BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Sage Group Plc are the four companies on the Stoxx 600 trading without the right to their latest dividend today, wiping 0.21 points from the measure, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The volume of shares changing hands in companies listed on the Stoxx 600 was 13 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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