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Bayer Swings to Net Loss on Roundup Settlement Deal
Topic of the day
Bayer Tuesday said it swung to a net loss of EUR9.55 billion ($11.23 billion) in the second quarter on provisions for its multibillion-dollar settlement with plaintiffs alleging the company's Roundup herbicides cause cancer, as the German firm slightly lowered its outlook due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bayer, whose share price has been weighed down for years by the Roundup legal battle, said it expects full-year sales and earnings before interest taxes, depreciation and amortization to come in slightly lower than initially forecast, after sales in its pharmaceuticals division were hit by the pandemic. The chemicals-to-pharmaceuticals company now expects sales, adjusted for currency swings, disposals or acquisitions, to grow between 0% and 1% this year to between EUR43 billion and EUR44 billion, compared with a previously forecast rise of 3% to 4%. Ebitda is projected at around EUR12.1 billion compared with a previous target of EUR12.3 billion to EUR12.6 billion.
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After Monday’s strong gains, profit-taking saw the SMI decline 0.7 percent to 10,162 points Tuesday. Observers pointed to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its economic effects, but also to US-China tensions about the Tiktok app. Cyclical and defensive stocks alike were sold off. Lonza, which had surged Monday, slid 2.9 percent. Alcon fell 0.6 percent and Roche 1.0 percent. Novartis lost just 0.4 percent, buoyed by news that a drug candidate had reached the first milestone in a study. Cyclicals ABB declined 1.1 percent and Sika 1.4 percent. Givaudan slipped 2 percent despite an analyst upgrade to “neutral”. Observers said conditions augured well for the stock but noted it had already performed well since the start of the year. SGS slumped 3.1 percent after a 12.7 percent share tranche placement by shareholders Finck. Banks outperformed the market, with CS up 0.2 percent and UBS 1 percent. An uptick in US tech stocks and good quarterly figures from Infineon sent AMS up 5.3 percent.
European stocks trade mixed as investors tread water in the absence of any news about fresh moves to boost the US economy. The Stoxx Europe 600 drops 0.07%, the FTSE 100 is up 0.05%, the CAC-40 gains 0.3% and the DAX retreats 0.4%. Shares in BP rise 6,5% after the oil major reported better-than-expected second-quarter net losses and outlined a strategy to reduce carbon emissions. Jefferies says the adjusted net loss of $6.68 billion was ahead of market expectations of $6,77B, while adjusted operating losses were also lower than expected. The brokerage also points to plans to reduce oil and gas production and increase renewable power capacity. "BP has set the framework to become an energy company rather than an oil company," Jefferies analysts say. Infineon Technologies AG's shares rose Tuesday after the German chip maker posted results for the third quarter of fiscal 2020 ahead of expectations. Infineon rose more than 4% in early morning trading. At the closing, shares traded 2.5% higher. The company swung to a net loss of 128 million euros ($150.6 million) for the three months ended June 30 from income of EUR224 million in the same period last year, as the coronavirus pandemic harmed its target markets with weaker demand across many product areas.
U.S. stocks ticked up modestly as investors held out cautious hope for progress in Washington on an aid package to support an economy roiled by a pandemic. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.62% as of the 4 p.m. close of trading in New York. The S&P 500 rose 0.36%. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.35%.General Motors Co. has asked a federal judge to reconsider the tossing of a lawsuit it filed last fall against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, in GM's latest attempt at reviving an unusual legal battle between the two Detroit rivals. In a motion filed Monday in Detroit, GM said it had uncovered new evidence to further support its earlier claims that Fiat Chrysler was trying to weaken its larger competitor by bribing top officials with the United Auto Workers union. Twitter Inc. said it could pay at least $150 million to the Federal Trade Commission related to alleged violations of a 2011 consent order for using consumers’ private data in targeted advertising. The social-media platform said Monday it received a draft complaint July 28 from the FTC alleging it used phone numbers and email addresses that were given to the company for safety and security purposes for targeted advertising between 2013 and 2019. Twitter said the FTC matter could cost the company between $150 million and $250 million though it currently is unresolved. U.S. air-safety regulators for the first time publicly spelled out the full range of hardware, software, crew training and maintenance changes they are proposing before Boeing Co.'s 737 MAX jets will be allowed to resume flying passengers. The 36-page document released Monday - filled with detailed technical explanations and multiple new emergency checklists for pilots - had been expected.
Asian stocks were mixed on the news, while U.S. futures nudged into positive territory. A major topic is a report in the Wall Street Journal according to which the US and China want to talk about the problems with the so-called phase-one deal, the January trade agreement.
U.S. Treasury yields fell Tuesday as investors remained pessimistic about the U.S. economy's health and eyed the slow pace of negotiations in Congress on another fiscal relief package to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The 10-year Treasury note yield fell 4.8 basis points to 0.514%, its lowest since March 9.
CS lowers the Telefonica target to 4,20 (5,10) EUR – Neutral
CS lowers the Societe Generale target to 15 (16,50) EUR – Neutral
CS lowers the HSBC target to 330 (370) p – Underperform
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