February 22, 2017 / 10:08 AM / in 9 months

European shares hit new 14-month high on positive earnings updates

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* Europe’s STOXX 600 up 0.2 percent

* Italy’s FTSE MIB weighed by Banca Mediolanum

* Indivior plummets 13 pct

* Tech, telecoms stocks rise

* ThyssenKrupp hits 19-month high after Brazil mine sale

* Ericsson gains on Cisco takeover speculation

By Helen Reid

LONDON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - European shares climbed to a new 14-month high on Wednesday, supported by well-received earnings updates from companies such as Lloyds, Telefonica Deutschland and Scor.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.2 percent at 374.20 points by 0930 GMT after setting an intra-day high of 375.42 points, the highest level since early December 2015. Germany’s DAX was up 0.3 percent after hitting levels not seen since April 2015.

Telefonica Deutschland was one of the best-performing stocks, up 5.8 percent and set for its best day in four months after it reported better than expected core profit for the fourth quarter and raised its target for synergies from its acquisition of E-Plus.

ThyssenKrupp was also a top gainer, up 5.4 percent at a 19-month high after the German industrials and steel company said it had sold its Brazilian steel mill to Ternium , ending five years of unsuccessful efforts by the German company to exit Latin America’s largest economy.

Fresenius Medical added to the strong German stock performance, up 3.8 percent after the healthcare group said 2016 sales rose 5 percent, adding that it has targeted double-digit annual gains by 2020.

The disposal price, 1.26 billion euros ($1.33 billion), was above UBS analysts’ estimates. “For us, it is an important step forward to clean up ThyssenKrupp’s comprehensive business portfolio and reduces earnings volatility going forward,” wrote analysts in a note.

British events and marketing company UBM was up 5 percent, the second best-performing European stock, after reporting a 19.2 percent rise in profits for 2016.

Shares in French insurance company Scor hit a 14-month high, up 5.6 percent after it raised its dividend and said it planned share buybacks due to a 5.4 percent increase in premiums.

Ericsson was up 3.7 percent, extending Tuesday’s gains on speculation that U.S. telecomms giant Cisco could buy the Swedish tech company, and on a positive note from Haitong Research, which initiated a ‘buy’ rating on the stock, saying catalysts over the next two years could cause Ericsson’s share price to double.

Lloyds, the second largest British listed bank to post earnings this week, was a top gainer, up 3.3 percent after impressing investors with profits rising to a ten-year high.

Italy’s blue-chip index underperformed its European peers, down 0.5 percent as asset manager Banca Mediolanum fell 4.3 percent after Kepler Cheuvreux cut its target price on the stock on concern over a possible fall in 2018 fees. The shares plunged on Tuesday after the CEO flagged the risk.

Peers Azimut and Banco BPM were among top European fallers, down 3.2 to 3.7 percent.

Indivior was an outlier in generally buoyant markets. The British pharmaceuticals company was down 13.4 percent, the top European faller, after its results. (Reporting by Helen Reid, editing by Louise Heavens)

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