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Eurofirst up on quarterly results

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by Elaine Frei

The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was 0.2 percent higher on Thursday, gaining only 2.3 points on the session to 1,301.6. Quarterly reports and broker recommendations were key factors in the gains and losses of individuals stocks.

Nokia added 0.4 percent to €15.62 after it released its second-quarter earnings report. Before the figures were released, shares in the Finnish mobile handset manufacturer went as high as €16.08. Later on, they fell as low as €15 before rising a bit before the close of trade. Meanwhile, Ericsson was down 0.9 percent to SKr23 ahead of its quarterly report, which is due to be released on Friday.

In the semiconductor sector, chip equipment maker ASML was 2.2 percent lower to €15.56 after a gain of over 6 percent yesterday after it released a positive quarterly report. Despite the report, Rabo Securities downgraded ASML’s shares from “buy” to “hold”.

Swedish engineering company Sandvik dropped 4.2 percent to SKr73.75 after its quarterly report failed to meet expectations. Elsewhere in the sector, Atlas Copco was down 2.5 percent to SKr176.50 after a disappointing guidance was released earlier this week.

In the pharmaceuticals sector, Roche added 3.3 percent to SFr214.90, its highest closing price ever, helped by a good quarterly report. Bear Stearns confirmed its “outperform” rating and SFr280 target share price for the drug maker. Dresdner Kleinwort did not change its “sell” rating, but raised Roche’s target share price from SFr170 to SF4180.

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News posted: July 20, 2006

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