April 24, 2014 / 5:40 AM / in 4 years

Europe Factors to Watch-Shares set to bounce; eyes on earnings

PARIS, April 24 (Reuters) - European stocks were seen rising on Thursday,
reversing most of the previous session's losses as strong results from U.S.
companies Apple and Facebook helped boost sentiment.
    Gains could be limited, however, as the damage of currency effects on
European earnings was showing up in quarterly results of a number of companies
including Unilever , Suez Environnement and Schneider
    A stronger euro hit Suez, who said the negative exchange rate impact on
quarterly revenue was 94 million euros, 30 million euros on earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, and 55 million euros on net
    Unilever said quarterly revenue fell 6.3 percent. When removing the impact
of foreign exchange and acquisitions and disposals, underlying sales rose 3.6
    Electrical gear maker Schneider Electric, which posted quarterly sales of
5.67 billion euros, up 2.5 percent on an organic basis, said it expects adverse
currency effects to cut 900 million to 1 billion euros off sales in 2014.
    About 50 European blue-chips derive more than a third of their revenue from
the United States, and about 130 European blue-chips get more than a third of
their revenue from emerging markets, according to data from MSCI.
    "A lot of companies, and especially exporters, are suffering from the strong
euro, and it's not clear that this is entirely priced in by analysts and
investors," a Paris-based equity and exchange-traded fund (ETF) trader said.
    "The best way to play this is to look for domestic companies, which will
suffer less from the strong euro."
    At 0624 GMT, futures for Euro STOXX 50, for UK's FTSE 100,
for Germany's DAX and for France's CAC were up 0.3-0.5 percent.
    On the M&A front, French conglomerate Alstom will be in focus
after Bloomberg reported that General Electric is in talks to buy the
French turbine and train maker for about $13 billion. An Alstom spokeswoman told
Reuters "these are totally unfounded rumours".
    On Wall Street, shares in Facebook rose 3 percent in after-hours trading as
the firm said it's mobile advertising business accelerated in the first three
months of the year, helping it beat forecasts. 
    Shares in Apple jumped 7 percent in after-hours trade after the firm said it
has approved another $30 billion in share buybacks as well as an 8 percent
increase in its quarterly dividend to $3.29 per share, and authorized a stock
split, broadening the stock's appeal to individual investors. 
    About a quarter of S&P 500 companies have reported results so far in
the earnings season, of which 72 percent posted in-line or forecast-beating
earnings, with profits up 2.8 percent overall, according to Thomson Reuters
StarMine data.
    In Europe, about 10 percent of STOXX 600 companies have reported
results so far, with 54 percent of them posting in-line or forecast-beating
    Europe bourses in 2014: (link.reuters.com/pad95v)
    Asset performance in 2014: (link.reuters.com/rav46v)
                                         LAST  PCT CHG  NET CHG
 S&P 500                             1,875.39  -0.22 %    -4.16
 NIKKEI                             14,404.99  -0.97 %  -141.28
 MSCI ASIA EX-JP                       481.05   0.14 %     0.65
 EUR/USD                               1.3815  -0.01 %  -0.0001
 USD/JPY                               102.37  -0.16 %  -0.1600
 10-YR US TSY YLD                       2.695       --     0.01
 10-YR BUND YLD                         1.532       --     0.01
 SPOT GOLD                          $1,284.60    0.1 %    $1.31
 US CRUDE                             $101.72   0.28 %     0.28
  > Global Markets-Apple shares reach 2014 highs, Asian stocks lag 
  > US Stocks-Wall St snaps six-day run; Apple to split stock 
  > Nikkei down slightly on caution ahead of earnings, economic uncertainty 
  > Forex-Kiwi flies on hawkish rbnz, euro eyes ECB speech 
  > Gold edges up, but holds near 2-1/2-month low as equities rally 
  > Copper hits 2-wk high on firm Chinese demand; nickel sustains rally 
  > Brent climbs, stays above $109 on Ukraine tensions 
    General Electric is in talks to buy the French turbine and train
maker for about $13 billion, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of
the matter. An Alstom spokeswoman told Reuters "these are totally unfounded
    The consumer goods maker reported higher first-quarter underlying sales on
Thursday, despite a later Easter holiday that pushed some food sales into the
second quarter. 
    Omnicom Group Inc, the No. 1 U.S. advertising company, said it was
unable to predict when its $35.1 billion merger with France's Publicis Groupe SA
 would close as the deal was yet to win some key approvals.
    French environmental services firm Suez Environnement said on
Thursday core earnings fell 2.2 percent on a gross basis and rose 3.2 percent on
an organic basis, in part because of the negative impact of exchange rates.
    Rising jet production helped Airbus rival BoeingCo generate
substantial cash in the latest quarter, and the company said on Wednesday that
it lavished the rewards on shareholders, sending its stock higher.
    The Spanish lender on Thursday reported an 54.6 percent drop in first
quarter net profit to 152 million euros, missing analyst forecasts, compared to
a year ago when it was helped by one-off gains from acquisitions. 
    Spanish lender Banco Sabadell said its first quarter net profit had jumped
59 percent from a year earlier, helped by growing net lending income and after
integrating several acquisitions. 
    French oil services group Technip stuck to its revenue and
operating margin targets for this year and next on Thursday after sales beat its
own expectations in the first quarter. 
    The French maker of computer-assisted design programmes said the Committee
on Foreign Investment in the United States had cleared its acquisition of U.S.
scientific software firm Accelrys. Dassault also confirmed its 2014
    The French tyre maker said revenue fell 2.4 percent to 4.76 billion euros
($6.58 billion) in the first quarter as weaker prices and adverse currency
effects in emerging markets outweighed growth in sales volumes. 
    The French auto parts maker reported an 11 percent rise in first-quarter
revenue to 3.11 billion euros, helped by automotive production that remained
solid in China and North America and picked up in Europe. It confirmed its 2014
    The French real-estate group reported a slight dip in first-quarter revenues
as asset disposals and currency fluctuations in Scandinavia weighed on rental
income growth. 

 (Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Atul Prakash and Alistair Smout)
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