CropEnergies rises 8.7 percent to 2.50 euros after the German bioethanol maker reports a fall in fiscal first-half profits, in line with market expectations, as the outlook for the company is seen improving.
DZ Bank, which rates the small-cap stock 'buy' with a fair value of 3.60 euros, says the unsurprising drop in operating earnings is mainly based on high wheat prices during the reporting period.
'The most important issue is that wheat prices have fallen dramatically over the last months and weeks from more than 300 euros per tonne in April to 145 euros per tonne yesterday,' DZ Bank says in a note, pointing out that CropEnergies's break-even level is at around 200 euros per tonne.
'We see attractive earnings and valuation upside,' DZ Bank says.
Shares in Norway's biggest banking group DnB NOR surge 18.8 percent, making it one of the top peformers in Europe in a broad upswing for financial shares
Company outperforms after it says it will raise 90 billion Norwegian crowns through a government liquidity package announced at the weekend.
The package allows banks to swap covered bonds, including mortgage-backed bonds, into government securities so that higher those higher rated bonds can be used as collateral for funding.
Analysts say it should help ease a liquidity squeeze caused by soaring interbank market interest rates. 'Now they are getting access to cheaper and longer funding, and obviously they are taking advantage of it,' said Bengt Kirkoen, analyst at Fondsfinans.
'We think this (money market) will begin to function and that the measures will be sufficient even if not all of it is implemented yet.'
Shares in Private and Commercial Finance Group rise 18.5 percent as the company reports a bullish trading update ahead of its interim figures due in December.
WH Ireland says AIM-listed PCF's prudence is showing through as the company progressively tightens lending criteria in order to maintain the book's quality. It therefore retains its 'buy' recommendation, whilst leaving forecasts unchanged.
Hanson Westhouse calls the update 'very positive', saying it expects PCF to report a 15 percent increase in profit for the six months ended September 2008.
Shares in German wiring and cable specialist Leoni fall 12.9 percent to be biggest faller of Frankfurt's midcap index, after the company trims its financial targets for 2008. It now expects sales of at least 2.9 billion euros, down from a previous forecast of at least 3.0 billion euros.
'The cutback in production was so strong, mainly due to Opel, and because Leoni supplies the company's Zafira model,' says UniCredit analyst Georg Stuerzer.
General Motors last week said it would shut its Opel factory, which makes Astra and Zafira models, in Bochum, Germany, until Oct. 13.
Leoni also announces the approval of a share buy-back, which will involve
Leoni also announces the approval of a share buy-back, which will involve buying back shares of up to 10 percent of its share capital, equating to a maximum of 2,970,000 shares.
Shares in TUI AG. fall 0.2 percent, one of two stocks in the red on Germany's midcap index, following an announcement from Moody's that it may downgrade the travel company's 'B1 corporate family rating'.
'This is a slight negative for the company but probably enough to increase selling on the stock,' a Frankfurt-based trader says.
The trader says TUI shares are also correcting from strong gains yesterday following the planned sale of its Hapag-Lloyd shipping unit.
'Moreover, there is uncertainty about what major investor Fredriksen might do with his shareholdings now that Happag Llyod is to be sold,' a second trader says. Llyod is to be sold,' a second trader says.
Fredriksen had been a major proponent of keeping Hapag-Lloyd within TUI and had asked other investors to join his efforts. He owns about 15 percent in TUI.
Shares in Microgen jump 16.7 percent after the company says that the group's performance remains on track to meet the board's expectations for the current year.
An announcement that the board is to propose to shareholders to undertake a tender offer to repurchase and cancel shares by way of an on-market tender offer also helps Microgen shares.
Investec sees the move as positive, keeping its 'buy' recommendation and 65 pence target price, while Arbuthnot also repeats its 'buy' rating, saying the tender offer could prove very attractive to shareholders.
UniCredit upgrades the basic resources and utilities sectors to 'overweight' from 'underweight' while downgrading food & beverage and healthcare to 'underweight' from 'overweight'.
It says the coordinated approach adopted by the eurozone countries to combat the credit crisis is improving the extremely negative sentiment and relieving some pressure on strongly oversold equity markets, and on tactical considerations, it therefore makes sense to adjust the defensive bias in its sector allocation.
The bank says the rating changes should not be construed to mean that it expects a general rally by an industrials and an immediate improvement in the economy.
European stocks rise sharply in late morning trade. The DJ Stoxx European basic resources index jumps 6 percent, while the utilities index gains 5.8 percent. Healthcare is up 3.6 percent, while food and beverage gains 4 percent.
Shares in German company Aixtron, a supplier of deposition tools to the semiconductor industry, rise 9.4 percent, outperforming Frankfurt's technology index, which is up 5.9 percent, after Goldman Sachs initiates its 'neutral' rating on the stock.
Shares in Proximagen Neuroscience rise 6.3 percent after the drug discovery and development company says it has hit its first milestone under the terms of a worldwide agreement signed with Upsher-Smith Laboratories in July.
The milestone triggers a $6 million equity investment in Proximagen at about 227 pence per share, a premium of approximately 90 percent to the closing share price of Proximagen on October 13, 2008.
As part of the agreement, Proximagen has already received an upfront payment and over the course of the agreement will receive milestone payments making the total deal worth up to $232 million, plus up to double-digit royalties on global product sales.
'With multiple strategic partnerships in place and a strong cash position, Proximagen stands out among its peer group,' says Daniel Stewart.
Shares in French bank BNP Paribas drop 1.1 percent, while European banks rise 5 percent, as traders cite comments made by French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde on higher bank capital ratios.
Lagarde said on Monday she wanted French banks to be in a position to increase their Tier 1 capital ratios to around 9 percent, as their counterparts in Britain have done.
'Lagarde said banks need Tier 1 at 9 percent, which would mean quite a jump for BNP,' one trader says.
BNP had a Tier 1 ratio of 7.6 percent on June 30, and has said it will have a Tier 1 ratio of 7.95 percent after the acquisition of Fortis's operations. The bank declines to comment on Tuesday's stock underperformance.
'Regarding BNP, which has reached the 25 percent limit in hybrid capital inside Tier 1, room for manoeuvre seems nil, or limited, without issuing core capital,' Kepler analyst Pierre Flabbee says in a note.
Shares in MAN AG jump 8.8 percent, with Merrill Lynch upgrading the heavy truckmaker to 'buy' saying the company appears well-prepared to weather a downturn in the economy in 2009 and 2010.
The brokerage says it still expects market estimate cuts in the next two years, but says a large portion of the downgrades have already been processed.
Merrill Lynch says order declines should begin to moderate in Western Europe in early 2009, and for the time being MAN's earnings are cushioned by order backlogs in Turbomachines and Diesel Engines. It highlights MAN as being the 'most compelling value opportunity' in the sector.
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