Swiss stocks - Factors to watch on Aug 20

ZURICH Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:07am EDT

ZURICH Aug 20 (Reuters) - Swiss stocks were expected to open lower, in line with European markets seen tracking losses on Wall Street and in Asia, with concerns about a possible cut in U.S. stimulus measures from next month hitting sentiment.

The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen falling 0.4 percent, according to premarket indications from bank Julius Baer.

The following are some of the main factors expected to affect Swiss stocks on Tuesday:

LINDT & SPRUENGLI

Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli said improving consumer sentiment in its biggest market Europe and buoyant demand in North America helped lift underlying sales by 8.7 percent in the first half of the year.

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STRAUMANN

Straumann, the world's largest maker of dental implants, posted a 21 percent jump in first-half net profit and expects cost cuts to further boost profitability in the rest of the year.

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NOVARTIS

Novartis said U.S. regulators have granted breakthrough therapy status for its investigational compound bimagrumab for the potential treatment of patients with sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM).

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COMPANY STATEMENTS

* Kudelski said it was selected by Zurich Insurance as a cyber security specialist for the support of an innovative cyber insurance product addressing the needs of companies to help protect themselves against new cyber threats.

* Charles Voegele said gross sales fell 4 percent to 555 million Swiss francs in the first half, leading to a consolidated loss of 21 million.

* Forbo said group profit rose around 10 percent to 46.9 million Swiss francs and it confirmed its earnings guidance.

* Transocean said the total value of new contracts since its July 17, 2013 fleet status report is approximately $2.5 billion.

* Looser posted consolidated net income of 11.2 million francs in the first half on the back of 236 million in revenues.

ECONOMY

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