** TRADING HEADLINES **
- Peugeot Profit Drops as Slower Sales of Cars, Vans Prompt It to Cut Prices
- U.K. Consumer Confidence Rose 1 Point to 98 in January, Nationwide Says
- WTO Rules Against EU’s Biotech-Seed Approval Rules, People Familiar Say
- Rolls-Royce May Say Profit Rose on Higher Engine Sales to Airbus, Boeing
- European Stocks May Drop; Shares of BHP, Rio Tinto, Total Might Decline
- BT’s Verwaayen May Say Profit Fell on Lower Prices for Internet Services
- Fiat’s Olympic Drive Clashes With Post-Industrial Push by Hometown Turin
** IN PLAY TODAY **
- Earnings of note: BOC, Peugeot, Banco Santander, Reckitt Benckiser, Scottish
Power & GlaxoSmithKline.
- Portugal Telecom rejects Sonae bid, saying price is too low.
- Peugeot reports below expected FY results (net profit of EUR 1.03b vs 1.17b
- BOC Group reported fiscal first-quarter earnings of 98.8 million pounds
($172.3 million), exceeding the 86.6 million pounds predicted by
the median estimate. Pretax profit was 128.8 million pounds, less than analyst
forecasts of 132.7 million pounds.
- Scottish Power said fiscal third-quarter profit rose 68 percent to 343.3
million pounds because of soaring electricity prices. The co said it may sell
PacificCorp earlier than thought.
- Reckitt Benckiser Wednesday reported a 15% rise in fourth quarter net profit
and topped its own estimates for full-year net income and revenue on strong
- Santander Central Hispano SA said 2005 profit rose 72 percent to a record as
it boosted lending in Spain and Latin America and booked gains from
selling stakes in companies including Royal Bank of Scotland Plc.
Net income increased to 6.22 billion euros ($7.45 billion)
from 3.61 billion euros a year earlier. The results were higher
than the 6.13 billion-euro median estimate.