Eon Achieves Targets and Expects Higher Profits in 2021
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German Energy utility Eon has achieved its lower targets for the past financial year and now expects earnings to increase in 2021. Adjusted operating profit (EBIT) for the Group rose by 17 per cent to €3.776 billion, at the upper end of the downwardly revised forecast of between €3.6 billion and €3.8 billion in August. At the bottom line, Eon achieved a 7 percent higher adjusted net income of 1.638 billion euros. The Group, which was fully consolidated after the Innogy takeover, increased its turnover by 48 percent to €60.944 billion. Earnings per share for Eon shareholders were 0.39 euros, compared to 0.68 euros in the previous year. The DAX-listed Essen-based group intends to raise the dividend by only one cent to 0.47 euros per share but stands by its promise to increase it by up to 5 percent annually until 2023. A trend reversal was achieved at the Innogy subsidiary NPower in the UK: In 2019, a loss of just under 200 million pounds sterling had been incurred there, but already this year a plus of more than 100 million pounds is expected.
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Once again, the Swiss stock market ended Tuesday's trading session on a positive note. The SMI gained 0.5 per cent to 11,099 points. Roche lost 1.7 per cent. The discontinuation of the phase III trial of Tominersen, a drug for Huntington's disease, weighed on the share price. In contrast, Novartis achieved a trial success with a prostate cancer therapy. Novartis plans to file for approval in the EU and the US this year. The share gained 1.2 per cent. Other defensive stocks such as Givaudan (+2 per cent), Nestle (+1.7 per cent) or Swisscom (+2.3 per cent) were also bought. Profiteers of the renewed tightening of the lockdown were also sought after - such as the share of the online pharmacy Zur Rose. It advanced by 8.6 per cent. Swatch was the strongest loser in the SMI with minus 2.4 per cent; the shares fell for the fourth trading day in a row. Since the beginning of the year, however, the share has performed strongly, gaining 14 per cent compared to the SMI (+3 per cent), boosted by the strong economy in China, an important customer country.
Europe's main equity indices closed broadly lower on Tuesday as the continent faces the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The new restrictions imposed by the French government were compounded by the extension of the lockdown for the German population. The Stoxx Europe 600 index fell 0.2% to 423.3 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 lost 0.4% each. In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 finished stable (+0.03%), while London's FTSE 100 gave up 0.4%. The automotive suppliers were the biggest losers on the SBF 120 index on Tuesday, penalised by the announcement by Swedish manufacturer Volvo (-6.8% in Stockholm) of production problems linked to the global shortage of semi-conductors. Plastic Omnium fell 4.7%, Faurecia gave up 3.9% and Valeo lost 2.5%. Trigano (-3.2%) saw growth slow in the second quarter of its 2020-2021 financial year, which ends next August. The European Commission on Tuesday approved the acquisition of Dutch optical distributor GrandVision by corrective lens maker EssilorLuxottica (+1.6%). Industrial gases specialist Air Liquide (+1%) announced on Tuesday that it was aiming to triple its hydrogen sales by 2035 compared to 2020. Shares in London-listed airlines and tour operators fell on Tuesday after the UK government's decision to extend the travel ban until the end of June, instead of May 17 as initially planned. IAG shares lost 4.6%, easyJet was down 3.3% and Jet2 was down 2.3%. German tour operator TUI fell 6.1% and Irish airline Ryanair lost 2%.
The New York Stock Exchange ended lower on Tuesday, dragged down by the energy and banking segments, as new health restrictions adopted in Europe raise concerns for the global economy. At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost 0.9% to 32,423.15 points. The broader S&P 500 index fell 0.8% to 3,910.52 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 1.1% to 13,227.70 points. Exxon (-1.3%) and Chevron (-0.6%) fell in the wake of the price of a barrel of crude oil, which ended down more than 6% on Tuesday in New York. Fears of containment in Europe also weighed on airlines United Airlines (-6.8%) and American Airlines (-6.6%), as well as on groups present on the European market such as Gap (-7.7%) and Caterpillar (-3.4%). The American pharmaceutical company Pfizer (-1.7%) intends to develop in vaccines and become a leader in messenger RNA, the technology behind the Covid-19 vaccine it has developed with the German company BioNTech, according to its CEO, Albert Bourla. US optical networking products specialist Lumentum (-3.5%) has filed a new bid to acquire US laser maker Coherent (-0.2% to $258.11), reportedly for more than a rival bid from the company II-VI (-2.4%).
The stock markets in East Asia follow the weaker Wall Street at midweek. The Nikkei index falls by 2.0 per cent to 28,428 points, additionally weighed down by the somewhat firmer yen. The drop in Hong Kong is similarly strong, while Shanghai loses 1.3 per cent. In Seoul, the Kospi drops by 0.4 per cent.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury bond rate fell for the third day in a row on Tuesday, dropping 7 basis points to 1.629%.
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