Luxury watchmakers mixed on sales

| January 23, 2007 | 0 Comments

In Europe on Tuesday the FTSE Eurofirst 300 was nearly steady, losing only 0.21 points to end the session at 1,513.31 as big losses for Alcatel-Lucent balanced gains in other sectors.

Alcatel-Lucent dropped 8.5 percent to €10.02 after having lost as much as 12 percent in earlier trade. The manufacturer of telecommunications equipment issued a profits and revenues warning for the fourth quarter. The company said adjusted revenues will be around €4.4 billion, significantly lower than last year’s €5.25 billion. Operating revenues, which were expected to show a profit of €539 million will, the company said, manage to just break even.

The automobile and truck manufacturing sector saw gains when German truck maker MAN said it will abandon its hostile takeover bid for Scania and instead try to negotiate a friendly merger. Scania’s B shares added 1.1 percent to SKr645 after dropping as low as SKr441 earlier in the session, while MAN gained 2.3 percent to €75.79. Volkswagen, which is the largest shareholder in both Scania and MAN, was 0.4 percent higher to €84.67.

In the media sector, Dutch television producer Endemol ended the session 1.6 percent higher to €20.65. Its share price was as high as €22.74 after it was reported that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. wanted to purchase the 75 percent stake of Endemol that Telefonica owns, but pulled back to its closing level after News Corp denied the rumors.

Luxury goods makers were mixed. Despite reporting a 10 percent gain in sales in the quarter, Richemont dropped 3.6 percent to SFr70. Swatch, on the other hand added 1.8 percent to SFr292.75.

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