A mixed set of results from European giants including Nestle and Unilever kept stocks within a tight range on Thursday.
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.
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.
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
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
up 0.17% to 394.12.
The British pound
drifted lower as the Northern Irish political party the DUP said it rejected a proposed Brexit deal “as things stand.”