28 de octubre de 2014 / 12:28 / en 3 años

Robust earnings spur European stocks higher

* FTSEurofirst 300 up 1 pct

* UBS, Novartis among heavyweight risers after results

* So far, two-third of companies meet/beat forecasts

* Sanofi share drop means over $10 bln market value wipeout (Adds detail, quotes, updates prices)

By Alistair Smout

EDINBURGH, 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.

While French pharma Sanofi and UK-listed Standard Chartered Bank slumped after reported results that missed expectations, generally stronger corporate reports helped the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 rise 1 percent to 1,317.99 by 1214 GMT.

UBS was the top gainer, up 5.3 percent after the bank beat forecasts with a 32 percent rise in net profit from a year earlier, even after a charge of 1.8 billion Swiss francs ($1.9 billion) as it discusses a settlement to an investigation into rigged foreign exchange rates.

Swiss pharma Novartis gained 2.5 percent after reporting better-than-expected results, while Dutch telecoms group KPN rose 2.9 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 10.6 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.

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.

MEETING EXPECTATIONS

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.

“In general this earnings season, while there’s been a few notable misses, in amongst the headlines there’s been actually a pretty decent performance. Most companies that have reported are meeting if not beating expectations,” Jasper Lawler, market analyst at CMC Markets, said.

Bucking the trend, shares in pharma group Sanofi sank 8.8 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 nearly six years - represented a wipeout of nearly 10 billion euros ($12.71 billion) in market value of France’s biggest listed company and one of Europe’s largest blue-chips.

Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered tumbled 9.2 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.

The Greek market was closed for a national holiday on Tuesday.

($1 = 0.7870 Euros)

Europe bourses in 2014: link.reuters.com/pap87v

Asset performance in 2014: link.reuters.com/gap87v

Today’s European research round-up (Additional reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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