STOCKS NEWS EUROPE-Agfa-Gevaert jumps on US deal, Obama plan

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15:00GMT 30Jan2009-Agfa-Gevaert jumps on U.S. technology deal


Shares in Belgian imaging technology company Agfa-Gevaert AGFB.BR jump after saying a U.S. healthcare group has deployed the company's new diagnostic image technology.

The stock rises as much as 12.8 percent to 2.7 euros, outperforming the DJ Stoxx European Technology Index .SX8P, which is up about 0.7 percent.

ING analyst Arnaud Goossens says a nearly $900 billion stimulus package announced by U.S. President Barack Obama that included about $20 billion to help doctors and hospitals upgrade medical technology.

“It could be a coincidence, but it could be that people are already speculating that Agfa could get business from this stimulus plan,” Goossens says, reiterating his “buy” rating and 3.10 euro target price for Agfa-Gevaert.

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12:28GMT 30Jan2009-UK Small Caps gain 0.2 percent midday


The FTSE Small Cap index .FTSC gains 0.2 percent in midday deals, outperforming both blue chips .FTSE and midcaps .FTMC, which slip 0.6 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.

The FTSE Developed European Small Cap index .FTDEUSC is 1.7 percent lower, while the FTSEurofirst 300 .FTEU3 drops 0.3 percent.

Chime Communications CHW.L jumps 24.5 percent, with traders saying the marketing services group's latest update shows trading remains strong and the shares are increasingly good value.

Jessops JSP.L tumbles over 27 percent after Britain's biggest photographic retailer says it could breach its banking covenants and that a major restructuring of its 57.4 million pound debt is required as it reports widening losses.

For more on Chime double click on [ID:nLU190182]; for more on Jessops double click on [ID:nLU148248]

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11:40GMT 30jan2009-Beneteau falls after sales warning


Shares in luxury yacht and mobile home group Beneteau CHBE.PA fall 10 percent after the company says fiscal 2008/09 sales may fall 30-40 percent as the deteriorating economy prompts customers to delay purchases.

Analysts at Portzamparc cut their rating on the stock to “reduce” from “hold”, citing the “deterioration of the outlook for 2009 and uncertainties about the timing and pace of the recovery”. “The newsflow risks remaining negative in the medium term,” they add.

Shares in the company are 10.2 percent lower at 5.41 euros by 1210 GMT after earlier touching 4.90 euros, giving it a market value of almost 500 million euros. The stock is down nearly 20 percent this month.

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11:48GMT 30Jan2009-Brammer down; Arden Partners cuts forecasts


Shares in Brammer BRAM.L fall almost 2 percent as Arden Partners takes a cautious view on the industrial services group and downgrades its forecasts, while cutting its rating to "add" from "buy", "given (the) current raft of warnings". "We reduce our growth expectations for the two most difficult Brammer markets, France and Spain," says Arden in a note.

The broker lowers 2008 pretax profit estimates to 20 million pounds from 21 million pounds, and EPS drops to 26.5 pence from 27.9 pence.

However, there is a more dramatic adjustment in 2009, with its pretax profit forecast falling to 16.5 million pounds from 20 million pounds, and EPS sliding to 21.9 pence from 26.6 pence.

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11:35GMT 30Jan2009-KCOM up after update, job cuts


Shares in KCOM Group KCOM.L jump 15.1 percent after the telecommunications service provider announces plans to cut 150 more jobs at its Integration & Managed Services (I&MS) business amid falling revenue, but says its nine-month profit rose from last year as overall trading improved.

FinnCap says KCOM’s interim management statement represents “a work in progress report as opposed to a conclusion.”

The broker says redundancies were to be expected, although a little tardy due to KCOM’s change of CEO in November, and given the pressure within its I&MS business come as no surprise.

FinnCap says a company in the midst of restructuring is a difficult beast to value, and it is easier to identify an incorrect value.

However, the broker concludes that it might be time to buy KCOM stock but in the full awareness that major structural changes are in hand.

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11:21GMT 30Jan2009-Chime Comms jumps on bullish update; brokers say “buy”

------------------------------------------------------------------------- Shares in Chime Communications CHW.L leap 24.5 percent as traders say the marketing services group's latest update shows trading remains strong and the shares are increasingly good value.

Charles Stanley, which has a “buy” recommendation on the stock, says the company has issued “a relatively optimistic outlook in difficult markets for 2009”.

Investec, which keeps its “buy” rating says, “we believe the market is significantly underestimating how much better a company Chime now is, compared with previous downturns”.

Brokers say Chime’s trading update is in line with expectations, but the company says its order book is “surprisingly strong” and with good visibility.

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11:18GMT 30Jan2009-Centamin Egypt up after quarterly report

----------------------------------------------------------- Shares in Centamin Egypt CEY.L rise 3.1 percent to 41.4 pence as the mineral exploration company releases its quarterly report for the period to December 31 2008, with commissioning and gold production remaining on track for Q2 2009.

“Approaching commissioning is one of the most difficult times for any pre-producer, but this announcement is extremely positive as the company remains on target for Q2 ‘09,” says Ambrian in a note.

The broker, which has a “buy” rating on the stock, lifts its target price to 57 pence from 55 pence.

“Despite poor equity market conditions, gold prices remain near all-time highs, and there are few pure-gold equity plays without issues around funding or licences,” says Ambrian.

“For this reason we expect Centamin to continue to attract more interest as commissioning draws closer, and as a result would look for higher multiples to NPV (net present value),” it adds.

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11:09GMT 30Jan2009-Tepnel up on bid from Gen-Probe


Shares in diagnostic company Tepnel TED.L rise by 26 percent to 25.6 pence after U.S. based Gen-Probe GPRO.O announces a 27.1 pence per share bid for the company.

“In my view its a significant premium over the fair value of the business ... it looks like a good deal,” says analyst Paul Hill, founder of PMH Capital.

For more please click on [ID:nLU528970]

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