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Market Update

Novartis Beats Estimates and Lifts Dividend, Suez Tumble on Weaker Outlook

Author: Sarla Buch
Last Update: 11:31 AM EST January 24 2018

4:00 PM Frankfurt J D Wetherspoon reported better-than-expected first-half sales. Novartis profit more than doubled. The Sage Group revenue growth disappointed analysts. Suez warned of profit weakness. Secunet Security Networks revenues soared.

In London trading, FTSE 100 index slumped 46.80 or 0.6% to 7,685.03 and in Frankfurt the DAX index fell 15.09 to 13,544.71.

In Paris, CAC 40 index decreased 12.26 or 0.2% to 5,522.99.

J D Wetherspoon Plc increased 2.5% to 1,302 pence after the U.K.-based pubs operator said sales in the first-half ending in December jumped 4.3% and comparable sales soared 6% and added pre-tax profit will be slightly ahead of expectations.

The pub operator estimated operating profit in the first-half of about 70 million from 64 million in a year ago period and operating profit in the full-year of about 135 million.

Novartis AG advanced 3.4% to 86.40 Swiss francs after Switzerland-based healthcare products maker reported revenues in the fourth-quarter ending in December jumped 5% from a year ago to $12.9 billion.

Net income in the quarter more than doubled to $1.98 billion from $936 million and diluted earnings per share soared to 85 cents from 40 cents.

The Swiss drugs-maker forecasted fiscal 2018 net sales growth in low-to-mid single digit and operating income growth in mid-to-high single digit.

Suez SA tumbled 15.6% to 11.88 after France-based environmental services provider reported revenues in the year ending in December rose 1.5% from a year ago to 15.8 billion.

The water utility provider said operating profit fell 2% to 2.6 billion and net income of about 300 million, this including 45 million in costs related to the GE Water acquisition and 72 million in costs for the voluntary departure plan in France.

Secunet Security Networks AG jumped 3.6% to 103.40 after Germany-based security software provider said revenues in the year ending in December soared 37% from a year ago to 158.3 million and operating profit surged 72% to 23.5 million from a year ago period.

The Sage Group Plc plunged 9.3% to 745 pence after the U.K.-based payroll and payments software developer reported revenues in the first-quarter ending in December jumped 6.3% and recurring revenue soared 7% largely driven by software subscription revenue growth of 26%.

The software provider said as of December 30, financial position remains strong and net debt dropped to 794 million from 813 million in the fourth-quarter ending on September 30.

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