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Mixed corporate results from Nestle and Unilever keep European stocks to a tight range

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A mixed set of results from European giants including Nestle and Unilever kept stocks within a tight range on Thursday.

Nestle












NESN, -0.74%










 slipped 0.9% after reporting 3.7% organic sales growth over nine months and announcing it would repurchase 20 billion francs of new shares through 2022. “On 22x forward earnings Nestle probably needs to upside surprise: with topline inline and the new buyback widely expected today’s results are solid but probably not enough to drive the shares near term,” said Morgan Stanley in a research note.

Unilever












ULVR, +1.28%










 shares rose 2% as the Anglo-Dutch household products group reported 2.9% underlying sales growth in the third quarter, and said sales by that metric will be at the lower half of its 3% to 5% range for the full year.

“While this is no more than an in-line result, volumes are ahead of our expectations and positive pricing compares favorably to NESN’s result this morning, albeit flattered by the re-consolidation of a proportion of Argentina inflation,” said analysts at Jefferies.

Pernod Ricard












RI, -3.48%










 shares fell 2.9% as the French beverages group said fiscal first quarter sales grew a slower than forecast 1.3%.

Telecom equipment maker Ericsson












ERIC.B, +7.64%










 shot up nearly 7% as the company lifted its sales and margin targets. See: Ericsson lifts sales, margin targets as operators continue 5G spending spree

The major stock market indexes didn’t move much, with the Stoxx Europe 600












SXXP, +0.28%










up 0.17% to 394.12.

The German DAX












DAX, +0.39%










 rose 0.24% to 12700.14, the French CAC 40












PX1, +0.09%










  added 0.08% to 5701.38 and the U.K. FTSE 100  












UKX, +0.24%










 increased 0.35% to 7193.02.

The British pound












GBPUSD, +0.8107%










 drifted lower as the Northern Irish political party the DUP said it rejected a proposed Brexit deal “as things stand.”

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