Konecranes Oyj slid 4.6 percent after reporting first-quarter sales that missed analysts’ estimates. Alstom climbed 9.3 percent after people familiar with the matter said General Electric Co. has held talks to buy the French train maker. Telekom Austria jumped 6.8 percent after America Movil SAB said it will buy out the company’s minority shareholders. Technip SA added 7.8 percent after posting profit that beat projections.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index dropped 0.4 percent to 333.56 at 2:51 p.m. in London, erasing a gain of as much as 0.8 percent. The equity benchmark fell yesterday for the first time in four days as new-house sales in the U.S. unexpectedly plunged. The gauge is 1.6 percent away from the six-year high it reached on April 4.
National benchmark indexes dropped in 14 of the 17 western-European markets that opened today. Iceland’s market closed as the country celebrated the first day of summer. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 climbed less than 0.1 percent, France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.1 percent and Germany’s DAX lost 1.1 percent.
Konecranes, MichelinKonecranes dropped 4.6 percent to 21.80 euros after the Finnish maker of cranes posted first-quarter sales of 427 million euros ($590 million), missing analysts’ forecasts of 472 million euros.
Michelin & Cie. lost 4.1 percent to 88.92 euros after Europe’s largest tiremaker said sales fell 2.4 percent to 4.76 billion euros in the first quarter as conflict between Russia and Ukraine weakened demand in eastern Europe.
Alstom climbed 9.3 percent to 26.61 euros after a person familiar with the matter said GE may offer more than $13 billion for the builder of trains and power plants. The companies may announce an agreement as early as next week, the people said.
The developer of wind farms said it does not know of any bid for the company. The shares pared a rally of as much as 18 percent after Le Figaro reported that GE is only interested in buying Alstom’s energy assets. Bouygues SA, which owns 29 percent of the shares according to data compiled by Bloomberg, climbed 3.5 percent to 30.02 euros.
Telekom AustriaTelekom Austria climbed 6.8 percent to 7.10 euros after America Movil said it will offer 7.15 euros apiece for the outstanding shares in Telekom Austria, a 7.5 percent premium to yesterday’s closing price. The Mexican mobile-phone operator signed an agreement with state-holding company OeIAG, giving the pair control over the telecommunications company.
Technip rallied 8.2 percent to 82.77 euros after Europe’s largest oilfield-services provider by market value reported first-quarter net income of 67.2 million euros ($93 million), exceeding the 62.4 million-euro projection of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The chief executive officer said the company has won major contracts in Angola, Brazil and Indonesia.
Scania surged 8.8 percent to 188.20 kronor, the biggest gain since Volkswagen offered in February to buy out the Swedish truckmaker’s minority shareholders. Swedbank Robur, which controls 1.87 percent of Scania (SCVB), said it would accept the offer of 200 kronor a share. Investors holding a 5.8 percent stake have rejected the proposed price. Volkswagen plans to pursue the bid only if acceptance reaches 90 percent, the threshold needed under Swedish law to force remaining owners to sell their holdings and delist the company.
Air Liquide SA gained 2 percent to 102.20 euros as the world’s second-largest supplier of industrial gases said sales rose 1 percent to 3.73 billion euros in the first three months of the year. Analysts had expected 3.75 billion euros. Chief Executive Officer Benoit Potier forecast that net income will grow in 2014.
Imagination Technologies Group Plc, which has a licensing agreement with Apple Inc., added 4.5 percent to 192 pence after the maker of iPhones and iPads reported quarterly profit and sales that beat analysts’ estimates. Dialog Semiconductor Plc (DLG), which got 80 percent of itsrevenue from Apple last year, advanced 2.8 percent to 18.08 euros.
A release from the Ifo institute showed that German business confidence unexpectedly improved this month. The Ifo institute’s business-climate index rose to 111.2 in April from 110.7 in March, beating economists’ estimates.