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Market Update

AbbVie and Shire Merger in Trouble, Danone Sales Rise 3%

Author: Nigel Thomas
Last Update: 12:27 PM ET October 15 2014

4:00 PM Frankfurt – Connect Group reported flat revenues of £1.8 billion. Danone third-quarter sales jumped 3% to €5.4 billion. Hennes & Mauritz reported group sales climbed 8%. Petroleum Geo lowered earnings forecast. Shire tumbled 22% after AbbVie’s reconsideration.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index slumped 1.9% or 118.03 to 6,274.65 and in Frankfurt the DAX index dropped 2% or 176.16 to 8,649.05.

In Paris, CAC 40 index declined 2.5% or 101.40 to 3,986.85.

Connect Group Plc surged 18.1% to 163.01 pence after the U.K.-based newspaper publisher reported revenue in the year ending in August nearly flat at £1.81 billion from a year ago period.

Net profit in the year climbed 21.2% from a year ago to £34.8 million compared to £28.7 million and diluted earnings per share jumped to 18 pence from 14.8 pence.

Separately, the company today launched new delivery service with Amazon.com “Pass My Parcel” to pick up the orders on same day, within 12-hours after placing an order across the same-day and next-day delivery time frames.

Danone SA gained 0.8% to €50.91 after the France-based dairy products maker reported third-quarter consolidated sales jumped 3% to €5.42 billion compared to €5.26 billion a year ago period.

H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB fell 0.5% to 275.90 francs after the Sweden-based apparel retailer said group sales including VAT in September climbed 8% compared to same month a year ago.

Petroleum Geo-Services declined 5.3% to 36.30 kronor after the Norway-based seismic surveyor revised its earnings estimate for the year to $725 million compared to earlier guidance of $850 million.

Shire Plc tumbled 22.1% to 4,003 pence after the U.S.-based pharmaceuticals maker AbbVie Inc plans to reconsider its $54.7 billion or £32 billion merger after changes in the U.S. tax regulations.

As the company’s board will meet on October 20 to decide to withdraw or modify its recommendation on deal.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc