** TRADING HEADLINES **
- G-8 Finance Ministers See Oil Price as Growth Risk, Seek Stable Supplies
- Vodafone, T-Mobile Shareholders Say Network Investment May Fail to Pay Off
- UBS May Report Record Quarterly Profit, Giving Wuffli Funds for Takeovers
- Adecco Raises DIS Bid by 7 Percent to Win Over Shareholders Jupiter, Voith
- European Takeovers, Led by Arcelor, May Help Stocks Build on 3-Year Rally
- ThyssenKrupp First-Quarter Profit Falls 23 Percent on Lower Steel Prices
** IN PLAY TODAY **
- Earnings of note: ThyssenKrupp, Statoil and Red Electrica
- Macquarie Bank Ltd., Australia’s largest investment bank, will this week raise its offer for the London Stock Exchange Plc to more than 700 pence a share, the Financial Mail reported, without citing anyone.
- BAA’s largest shareholders including Scottish Widows said they would accept an offer from Spain’s Grupo Ferrovial if it were more than 900 pence a share, the Sunday Times reported.
- Hutchison Whampoa said Goldman Sachs agreed to buy a 10 percent stake in 3 Italia, Hutchison’s Italian mobile-phone unit, for EUR 420m.
- Bayer is considering a purchase of Pfizer Inc.’s consumer health business, which makes Listerine mouthwash and Sudafed cold medicine, Euro am Sonntag reported.
- Eiffage said it may sell its parking operations to Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP to fund purchases and cut debt.
- Lafarge may say Q4 sales rose to 3.84 billion euros from 3.57 billion euros, as higher demand helped the company increase selling prices in the U.S., one of its largest markets.
- Statoil ASA will probably say fourth-quarter profit fell to 8.55 billion kroner from 10.04 billion kronor a year earlier, because of currency losses and costs from writing down a gas project in Iran.
- ThyssenKrupp said fiscal first-quarter profit fell 23 percent after European steel prices plunged and it sold assets. Net income in the three months ended Dec. 31 fell to 255 million euros, or 49 cents a share, from 331 million euros, or 62 cents, a year earlier. Earnings per share from continuing operations in the first quarter dropped to 49 cents a share, from 60 cents. Results are essentially in line with consensus.
** STATOIL RESULTS: SLIGHTLY WORSE **
Statoil ASA Monday said fourth-quarter net profit fell 15% on a higher tax rate and currency losses, despite higher oil prices and production levels. But given a strong year overall, with net profit for the year 30.7 billion Norwegian kroner ($1=NOK6.7979), up 23% from NOK24.9 billion in the same period in 2004, the company proposed a dividend of NOK3.60 a share for 2005, as well as special dividend of NOK4.60 a share. The 71% Norwegian state-owned company said net profit for the fourth quarter was NOK8.52 billion, or NOK3.94 a share, down from NOK10.04 billion in the same period of 2004, or NOK4.64 a share. The figure was slightly below analysts’ forecasts for net profit of NOK8.86 billion.
** UPS & DOWNS **
+ LAND SECURITIES RATED NEW `OUTPERFORM’ AT CREDIT SUISSE
+ HENNES & MAURITZ PRICE EST. RAISED 11% TO SK310 AT LEHMAN
+ L’OREAL RAISED TO `NEUTRAL’ VS `UNDERPERFORM’ AT CREDIT SUISSE
+ BAA PRICE EST. RAISED TO 800P FROM 700P AT HSBC
+ E.ON PRICE EST. RAISED 3% TO EU102 AT DEUTSCHE BANK
+ RWE PRICE EST. RAISED 9.1% TO EU72 AT DEUTSCHE BANK
+ VOLKSWAGEN PRICE ESTIMATE RAISED 27% TO EU57 AT ING
+ PUMA PRICE ESTIMATE RAISED 37% TO EU350 AT DEUTSCHE BANK
+ PUMA RAISED TO `BUY’ FROM `HOLD’ AT DEUTSCHE BANK
+ CREDIT SUISSE RATES U.K. REAL ESTATE SECTOR `UNDERWEIGHT’
- ALTADIS CUT TO `IN-LINE’ FROM `OUTPERFORM’ AT GOLDMAN SACHS
- STARBUCKS CUT TO `NEUTRAL’ FROM `BUY’ AT UBS