* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.8 pct, Euro STOXX 50 up 0.9 pct
* Sanofi share drop represents $10 bln market value wipeout
* So far, two-third of companies meet/beat forecasts
By Blaise Robinson
PARIS, Oct 28 (Reuters) - European shares rose in early trade on Tuesday, reversing the previous session’s dip as better-than-expected results from a number of blue-chips including pharma group Novartis and bank UBS helped lift sentiment.
Bucking the trend, shares in pharma group Sanofi sank 7.1 percent after posting weaker-than-expected quarterly sales, blaming pricing pressures on its lucrative diabetes business.
“This is disappointing for one of the company’s most important growth engines,” Berenberg analysts wrote in a note.
The sharp drop in the stock - its biggest one-day slide in five years - represented a wipeout of 7.8 billion euros ($9.9 billion) in market value of France’s biggest listed company and one of Europe’s largest blue-chips.
At 0915 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.8 percent at 1,315.00 points, reversing a 0.6 percent fall on Monday.
Shares in UBS rose 3.5 percent after the bank beat forecasts with a 32 percent rise in net profit from a year earlier, even after including a charge of 1.8 billion Swiss francs ($1.9 billion) as it discusses a settlement to an investigation that it and other banks rigged foreign exchange rates.
Swiss pharma Novartis gained 2.5 percent after reporting better-than-expected results, while Dutch telecoms group KPN rose 3.3 percent after posting forecast-beating results as the pace of revenue decline at its consumer mobile and business units slowed.
Finnish pulp and paper maker UPM-Kymmene jumped 8.1 percent after posting a bigger-than-expected rise in quarterly core profit on the back of cost cuts, and said it was planning more savings to boost profitability amid a weak European economy.
On the downside, Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered tumbled 8.4 percent after it said it will cut branches and sell more non-core assets as part of a plan to cut costs by $400 million next year.
About a quarter of companies listed on the STOXX Europe 600 benchmark index have reported results so far in the earnings season, with 66 percent of them meeting or beating profit forecasts, and 61 percent meeting or beating revenue forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine data.
In absolute terms, European companies have posted a 12.6 percent rise in quarterly earnings, and a 1.9 percent rise in revenue. This compares with a rise of 6.7 percent in S&P 500 profits and 4.8 percent rise in revenue for the quarter, Starmine data shows.
Alexandre Baradez, chief market analyst at IG France, said there’s hope for the positive trend in European profits seen so far in the earnings season to extend in the coming quarters when the impact from the lower euro and the fall in commodity prices kick in.
“The dovish tone by the ECB and all the measures unveiled have pushed the euro down from $1.40 to $1.25 and this will give European companies big leverage in the coming months.”
Around Europe on Tuesday, UK’s FTSE 100 index was up 0.4 percent, Germany’s DAX index up 1.3 percent, and France’s CAC 40 up 0.3 percent.
Italy’s MIB was up 1.5 percent while Spain’s IBEX was up 1.3 percent, recovering after sharp losses on Monday. The euro zone’s blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index was up 0.9 percent at 3,027.58 points.
The Greek market was closed for a national holiday on Tuesday.
Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up
Editing by Tom Heneghan