Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to pause; eyes on earnings

miércoles 25 de febrero de 2015 03:34 GYT
 

PARIS, Feb 25 (Reuters) - European stocks were set for a mixed open on
Wednesday, pausing after both UK's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX 
hit record highs in the previous session, while investors combed through a
flurry of corporate results.
    At 0730 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for Germany's DAX 
and for France's CAC were down 0.06 percent to up 0.03 percent.
    Spain's Telefonica said it expected revenue to grow by more than 7
percent this year as it reported a 19 percent drop in 2014 operating income,
while AXA, Europe's second-biggest insurer, posted a 12 percent
increase in 2014 net profit on lower expenses, voicing confidence in its
cost-cutting target for this year.
    So far in the earnings season 63 percent of STOXX 600 companies have
reporting results, of which 55 percent have met or beaten profit forecasts.
Overall, fourth-quarter earnings are expected to grow by 19.5 percent, according
to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, which would be Europe's best season in 3-1/2 years.
    European stocks rallied on Tuesday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet
Yellen said it was likely to be several months before the Fed raises interest
rates.
           
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  MARKET SNAPSHOT AT 0730 GMT: 
                                         LAST   PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                             2,115.48    0.28 %     5.82
 NIKKEI                               18585.2    -0.1 %   -18.28
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                       489.56    0.82 %     3.99
 EUR/USD                               1.1384     0.4 %   0.0045
 USD/JPY                               118.72   -0.21 %  -0.2500
 10-YR US TSY YLD                       1.979        --    -0.01
 10-YR BUND YLD                         0.361        --    -0.01
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,210.60    0.92 %   $11.09
 US CRUDE                              $49.07   -0.43 %    -0.21
  > GLOBAL MARKETS-SHARES UP AS YELLEN STRESSES POLICY FLEXIBILITY 
  > US STOCKS-DOW, S&P FINISH AT RECORDS AFTER YELLEN COMMENTS 
  > TOKYO'S NIKKEI SHARE AVERAGE CLOSES DOWN 0.10 PCT 
  > BOND PRICES RALLY AFTER YELLEN TESTIMONY, STRONG 2-YEAR AUCTION 
  > FOREX-DOLLAR SLIPS AS YELLEN SHOWS NO RUSH TO RAISE RATES 
  > PRECIOUS-GOLD REBOUNDS FROM 7-WEEK LOW AS YELLEN FLAGS FLEXIBILITY 
  > METALS-LONDON COPPER SLIPS AS CHINA RETURNS, SELLING RESUMES 
  > BRENT INCHES UP TOWARDS $59 ON FED FLEXIBILITY, CHINA FACTORY GROWTH 
    
    COMPANY NEWS:
    
    TELEFONICA 
    Spain's Telefonica said on Wednesday it expected revenue to grow by more
than 7 percent this year as it reported a 19 percent drop in 2014 operating
income. The company also said it aims to raise up to 3 billion euros through a
rights issue due to the acquisition of Brazil's GVT. 
    
    AXA 
    Europe's second-biggest insurer posted a 12 percent increase in 2014 net
profit as cost cuts boosted earnings. 
    
    BOUYGUES 
    French conglomerate posted lower 2014 operating profit on Wednesday in the
face of a stagnant domestic economy and a price war which weighed on its
telecoms unit. 
    
    FRESENIUS 
    The healthcare group expects its adjusted net income to rise between 9 and
12 percent at constant currencies this year, helped by additional earnings from
the purchase of new hospitals and demand for healthcare services. 
    
    BANK OF PIRAEUS, EUROBANK 
    Greek lenders Bank of Piraeus and Eurobank will drop out of the pan-European
STOXX 600 .STOXX benchmark, index compiler STOXX said late on Tuesday. 
    
    SAFRAN 
    The French aerospace group predicted further growth in profit this year as
it posted stronger-than-expected 2014 earnings, led by sales of spare engine
parts and record jet industry production rates. 
    
    MORRISONS 
    Britain's No. 4 supermarket has named former Tesco executive David Potts as
its new chief executive, succeeding Dalton Philips who was ousted in January.
 
    
    RIO TINTO 
    The global miner will not be taken over by rival Glencore because
there is no value in it for shareholders and regulators will never let it
happen, Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh said. 
    
    WHITBREAD 
    The firm said it expected to post full-year profit toward the top end of
market forecasts as strong demand at its Premier Inn hotels and Costa Coffee
chain helped deliver a 5.8 percent rise in fourth quarter underlying sales.
 
    
    EURONEXT 
    Pan-European exchange Euronext reported a 7.6 percent jump in full-year
operating profit before exceptional items, thanks to lively listing activity
during a year that included the initial public offering of ING Group's ING.AS
insurance arm. 
    
    FERROVIAL 
    The group on Tuesday posted a 5 percent rise in 2014 core profit from a year
earlier, to 983 million euros. 
    
    ROYAL DUTCH SHELL 
    The largest U.S. refinery strike in 35 years could spread if talks over
improved safety conditions do not resume soon, United Steelworkers union (USW)
International President Leo Gerard said on Tuesday. 
    
    BARRATT DEVELOPMENTS 
    The group posted a 75 percent rise in profit in the six months to
end-December on Wednesday after it completed 6,971 new homes, and said its
second half had started well. 
    
    SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT 
    French waste and water group said 2014 group net profit rose 18.5 percent to
417 million euros ($473 million), boosted by strong margins on European water
activities and its international business. 
    
    VALLOUREC 
    The French steel pipe maker unveiled a plan to cut 1,400 jobs in 2015 as a
drop in demand from oil company customers following the plunge in crude prices
tipped the group into a full-year net loss in 2014. 
    
    FRESENIUS MEDICAL CARE 
    The kidney dialysis specialist said net income could be flat this year but
would grow again in 2016, as it cuts costs to counter pressure in the United
States on reimbursement for dialysis treatments. 
    
    TSB 
    The new British bank said its full-year pretax profit rose 2.3 percent, as
the number of new accounts increased. 
    
    ATOS 
    PAI Partners, a Paris-based private equity firm, is selling a 9 percent
stake in French IT services firm Atos via a share placement, traders said on
Wednesday. 
    
    VALEO 
    The French auto parts maker pledged a further improvement in profitability
after exceeding its targets last year thanks to strong demand for
emissions-cutting technologies. 
    
    ROCHE 
    British doctors called on Tuesday for Roche's cancer drug Avastin to be made
routinely available as a cheap alternative for treating people with a
debilitating eye disorder. 
    
    AREVA 
    A capital increase for the French nuclear group is not a priority, French
Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron told Reuters, also ruling out selling
state-held shares in utilities EDF and GDF Suez to finance
support for the group. 
    
    COMMERZBANK 
    German prosecutors have launched an investigation into Commerzbank and its
clients in connection with suspected tax evasion involving accounts in
Luxembourg. 
    
    CREDIT AGRICOLE 
    The bank said Philippe Brassac, a senior executive at its network of
regional mutuals, would become chief executive after Jean-Paul Chifflet's steps
down in May. 
    
    ASTRAZENECA 
    Astrazeneca has boosted its early-stage research in autoimmune disease by
signing a three-year research deal with start-up firm Orca Pharmaceuticals, a
small British biotech company formed in 2013, on a new class of drugs. 
    
    EXOR 
    Italy's Agnelli family, which controls Cushman & Wakefield Inc, is putting
the world's third-largest real estate company up for sale, the Wall Street
Journal reported, quoting people familiar with the matter. Exor, the Agnelli
family's holding company, has hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to find a
buyer, the WSJ said.
    
    FINMECCANICA 
    Italian aerospace and defence group Finmeccanica has agreed to sell its rail
business to Hitachi Ltd 6501.T in a deal which will cost the Japanese
conglomerate up to 1.9 billion euros and cut Finmeccanica's debt by 15 percent.
The CEO said earnings guidance would rise as a result. 

 (Reporting by Blaise Robinson)