Richemont Continues to Grow in The First Half of 2023/24
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The boom as regards to luxury goods continues. The jewellery and watch group Richemont grew in the first half of 2023/24 (as at 30 September) and generated a billion-euro profit. Sales in the jewellery business increased strongly once again. Group sales rose by 6.0 per cent to 10.2 billion euros in the period from April to September, as the manufacturer of luxury watches under the Piaget and IWC brands and expensive jewellery from Cartier as well as Van Cleef & Arpels announced on Friday. Calculated in local currencies, the increase was 12 per cent. The operating result (EBIT) from the division's continuing operations was reported by Richemont at 2.7 billion euros. On a comparable basis, this represents a decrease of 2.0 per cent. The bottom line was 2.2 billion euros - an increase of 3.0 per cent compared to the same period last year. As usual, Richemont did not provide a concrete outlook for the rest of the 2023/24 financial year. The luxury goods group Richemont is expanding its Group Executive Board. Karlheinz Baumann will join the Senior Executive Committee (SEC) in his function as Group Director of Operations, as Richemont communicated on Friday.
On Thursday, the SMI gained 0.5 per cent to 10,645 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 15 price gainers and five price losers. A total of 18.2 (previously: 21.83) million shares were traded. The figures presented by Zurich Insurance for the first nine months had both light and shade. However, the insurer is considering an additional share buyback in addition to the dividend. Furthermore, the subsidiary Farmers Group has agreed to acquire three brokerage firms and the service business of the Farmers Exchanges state flood insurance programme for 760 million dollars. The share price fell 0.4 per cent. Swiss Life shares rose only slightly by 0.4 per cent after the previous day's heavy losses. ABB (+3.7 per cent) saw a more marked increase. Market participants pointed to positive comments from analysts. Geberit (+2.1%) and Partners Group (+2.2%) were also in high demand. The shares of index heavyweight Nestle added 0.9 per cent. Among the pharmaceutical giants, Roche shares closed little changed, while Novartis fell 0.7 per cent.
The European stock markets rebounded for the second session in a row on Thursday, buoyed by hopes of monetary policy easing next year and possible measures to support consumer spending in China. The Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.8% to 447.8 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and SBF 120 rose by 1.1% each. The DAX 40 in Frankfurt climbed 0.8%, while the FTSE 100 in London advanced 0.7%. Schneider Electric (+8.3%) was the biggest riser on the CAC 40. On Thursday, the electrical equipment manufacturer presented new medium-term targets that were higher-than-expected, according to Bernstein. Airbus (-1.9%) published lower-than-expected quarterly results, but confirmed its forecasts for the 2023 financial year. Orpea jumped 43.7% after a decision by the Paris Court of Appeal, which authorised the Caisse des dépôts et consignations, together with other investors, to acquire a stake in the operator of retirement homes and clinics without launching a takeover bid. Solutions 30 jumped 14.3%. Chemicals group Arkema (+3.2%) confirmed its EBITDA target for 2023. Euronext (+2.5%) reported a third-quarter net profit higher-than-expected by analysts. Boat manufacturer Bénéteau (-5.2%) reported virtually flat sales in the third quarter, held back by unfavourable base and exchange rate effects.
The S&P 500’s shot at its longest winning streak since 2004 appeared within grasp for much of Thursday’s trading session. Then Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and the Treasury market crashed the party. The S&P 500 finished 0.8% lower, thwarting what would have been just its 32nd nine-day winning streak since 1928, according to Dow Jones Market Data. A 0.9% slip by the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended a nine-day winning streak of its own. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6%, or about 220 points. On Thursday, investors tapped the brakes after a government sale of $24 billion in long-term debt didn’t entice as many buyers as anticipated. Benchmark 10-year yields, which offer practically risk-free returns, ticked higher afterward to 4.629%. The resulting decline in stocks accelerated after Powell said at a conference in Washington that it was too early to declare victory against price pressures. “Inflation has given us a few head fakes,” he said. “If it becomes appropriate to tighten policy further, we will not hesitate to do so.” Any continuation of the market’s advance will rely heavily on megacap stocks, including Tesla and Nvidia, whose stocks diverged Thursday. Shares in the chip maker advanced 0.8%, while the electric-vehicle manufacturer slipped by 5.5%. One of 2023’s hottest stocks, Eli Lilly, posted its worst day of the year with a 4.5% decline. Some traders unloaded shares after the Food and Drug Administration approved the company’s new drug to treat obesity. Mickey Mouse had its best day on the trading floor since 2020. Shares in Disney jumped 6.9% after the media giant beat Wall Street’s earnings estimates and said it would cut $2 billion in additional costs. Meanwhile, shares in Arm, the chip designer backed by Japanese firm SoftBank, slid 5.2% after its first-ever quarterly results disappointed investors.
The stock markets in Asia continue to be dominated by the interest rate debate in late trading on Friday. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.5 per cent and the HSI in Hong Kong 1.5 per cent. The Nikkei-225 in Tokyo is holding up comparatively well with a discount of 0.3 per cent - supported by the weaker Yen. SoftBank drops 6.6 per cent after a second-quarter loss. In South Korea, the Kospi fell by 0.7 per cent. The battery stocks LG Energy Solution and Samsung SDI shed 2.5 and 3.5 per cent respectively, extending their recent losses.
U.S. government debt yields rose on Thursday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell pointed to the possible need to take more action against inflation and a 30-year government bond auction drew weaker-than-expected demand. The 10-year Treasury note yield jumped by 13 basis points to 4.642%.
Price target Schweiter: UBS downgrades to CHF 475 (585) - Sell
Price target Straumann: Julius Baer lowers to CHF 120 (135) - Hold
Jefferies raises Pandora target to DKK 880 (850) - Hold
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