** HEADLINES **
- Cerberus Plans $15 Billion Offer for Vodafone’s Japanese Unit, People Say
- European Stocks Including Barclays, BNP Paribas May Rise; Allianz May Fall
- Swiss Central Bank May Raise Rate, Signal Increases to Come, Survey Shows
- Volkswagen, Fiat Lead Second Straight Monthly Gain in European Car Sales
-U.K. February Retail Sales Probably Rose as Spending Revived, Survey Shows
** IN PLAY TODAY **
- Earnings of note: Hochtief, Allianz, Gaz de France, Prudential, Corus and
- Allianz AG, Europe’s largest insurer, said fourth-quarter profit almost
tripled, helped by investment gains and improved earnings from Dresdner Bank.
Net income rose to 872 million euros from 296 million euros a year earlier. That
fell short of the 894 million-euro median estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by
- Gaz de France SA, which last month agreed to merge with Suez SA to create the
world’s second-largest utility, said full-year profit rose 29 percent, lifted by
higher natural gas prices. Annual net income rose to 1.74 billion euros.
Analysts had expected income of 1.56 billion euros, according to the median
forecast of seven analysts. Sales rose 28 percent to 22.4 billion euros, the
company said Feb. 15.
- Prudential Plc said 2005 profit rose 45 percent as it increased life and
pension sales in Asia and the U.S. Net income rose to 748 million pounds ($1.3
billion), or 31.6 pence a share in 2005, from 517 million pounds, or 24.4
pence a share in 2004.
- Corus Group Plc posted a 61 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit as energy
prices rose. Net income was 67 million pounds ($117 million), or 1.68
pence a share, from 171 million pounds, or 3.54 pence, a year earlier. The
median estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for profit of
53 million pounds.
- Altana AG, the drugs and chemical company controlled by the billionaire Quandt
family, said fourth-quarter profit rose 22 percent, helped by an increase in
sales of stomach ulcer drug Protonix. Net income was 106 million euros, or 78
cents a share, up from 87 million euros, or 64 cents a share, a year earlier.
Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News had estimated the company would earn 100
million euros. The company said it propose raising the dividend 16 percent to
** UPS & DOWNS **
+ DELHAIZE RAISED TO `BUY’ FROM `NEUTRAL’ AT UBS
+ CAIRN ENERGY RAISED TO `HOLD’ FROM `SELL’ AT CITIGROUP
+ PREMIER FOODS RAISED TO `BUY’ FROM `HOLD’ AT CITIGROUP
+ RICHEMONT SHARE-PRICE ESTIMATE RAISED TO SF70 VS SF68 AT HSBC
+ CHRISTIAN DIOR PRICE ESTIMATE RAISED TO EU97 FROM EU90 AT HSBC
+ LVMH SHARE-PRICE ESTIMATE RAISED TO EU94 FROM EU90 AT HSBC
+ DELHAIZE PRICE ESTIMATE RAISED TO EU62 FROM EU60 AT JPMORGAN
+ DEUTSCHE BANK PRICE EST. RAISED 9% TO EU109 AT MORGAN STANLEY
+ BASF PRICE EST. RAISED 9.6% TO EU80 AT MORGAN STANLEY
- SUNCOR CUT TO `EQUAL WEIGHT’ FROM `OVERWEIGHT’ AT LEHMAN
- BSKYB CUT TO `IN-LINE’ VS. `OUTPERFORM’ AT GOLDMAN SACHS
- GLAXOSMITHKLINE CUT TO `UNDERWEIGHT’ AT JPMORGAN
- DANSKE BANK CUT TO `REDUCE’ FROM `NEUTRAL’ AT UBS