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Market Update

Billionaire Agarwal Targets Anglo American, Balfour Beatty Swings to Profit

Author: Sarla Buch
Last Update: 9:42 PM ET March 16 2017

4:00 PM Frankfurt – Balfour Beatty net swung to profit as the infrastructure developer implements its reorganization plan. Lufthansa net jumped 5% but the airline lowered profit forecast. K&S net tumbled 65% on lower price in potash. Vedanta key shareholder Anil Agarwal acquired 12% stake in Anglo American worth £2 billion.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index jumped 41.54 or 0.6% to 7,410.31 and in Frankfurt the DAX index gained 61.48 or 0.5% to 12,071.63.

In Paris, CAC 40 index increased 23.40 or 0.5% to 5,009.50.

Balfour Beatty Plc slumped 2.6% to 276.50 pence after the U.K.-based infrastructure developer said revenues in the year ending in December were flat from a year ago at £6.9 billion.

Net in the year swung to profit from a year ago to £24 million from a loss of £206 million and diluted earnings per share swung to 3.5 pence from diluted loss per share of 30.1 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

""The transformation of Balfour Beatty is well underway. We have returned the Group to profit… and focused on core markets in the U.K. and U.S.,” said chief executive officer Leo Quinn.

Deutsche Lufthansa AG jumped 5.1% to €15.15 after Germany-based airline reported revenues in the year ending in December fell 1.2% from a year ago to €31.7 billion.

Net income in the year jumped 4.7% from a year ago to €1.8 billion from €1.7 billion and diluted earnings per share increased to €3.81 from €3.67.

The airline lowered operating profit forecast after reporting wider loss in the fourth-quarter of €75 million from a loss of €50 million in a year ago period.

Ford Werke GmbH, the Germany-based unit said Ford Motor plans to invest about €600 million or $642 million for production of the next generation Ford Focus compact car.

Ford’s Cologne and Saarlois plants are its main European production units of Ford Focus, Fiesta, C-MAX/Grand and C-MAX models.

J Sainsbury Plc slipped 0.6% to 269.70 pence after the U.K.-based grocery retailer said total retail sales in the fourth-quarter rose 0.1% but comparable store sales fell 0.5% and general merchandise sales dropped 4%, due to the later arrival of Mother’s Day and Easter.

The retailer said total sales in the quarter at the catalogue retailer Argos jumped 3.8% and comparable sales soared 4.3%.

K&S AG slumped 2.2% to €22.62 after Germany-based salt producer and potash provider said revenues in the year ending in December declined 16.7% from a year ago to €3.5 billion.

Net income in the year tumbled 64.8% from a year ago to €174.4 million from €495.4 million and diluted earnings per share dropped to €0.91 from €2.59.

The decrease in revenues was mainly due to lower average price in the potash and magnesium products business unit and the severe production limitations.

However, the potash producer said operating profit in 2020 is estimated to reach about €1.6 billion.

Novo Banco, Reuters said the U.S.-based private equity firm Lone Star is closed to acquiring 75% stake in the Portugal-based bank and financial services provider for about €1 billion or $1.07 billion.

Vedanta Resources Plc jumped 7% to 893 pence after the executive chairman of natural resources producer Anil Agarwal said that he will acquired 12% stake worth about £2 billion through his family trust Volcan Holdings in the diamonds, platinum and copper producer Anglo American Plc.

""This is an attractive investment for our family trusts ... I am delighted to become a shareholder in Anglo American,"" said Anil Agarwal.

Anglo American Plc stock soared 8.8% to 1,299 pence.

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