LONDON -- Investors saw a plethora of earnings statements this morning from some big U.K. names, although the major indices continued to have trouble breaking out of their recent trading ranges. The FTSE 100 trading range covered a 19-point span -- 11 down and 8 up -- but that was just market makers opening up prices. By midmorning, the Footsie was up 34 points to 6424 and the Techmark was down 5 points to 3693.4.
Rupert Murdoch's satellite broadcaster
had a torrid session Tuesday after an earnings downgrade by house broker
Credit Suisse First Boston
(the brokerage later claimed it had been misunderstood by the market). Wednesday morning it rallied 13p to
12.50 ($19.00) after revealing less-than-anticipated losses. The loss for its fiscal fourth-quarter ended June 30, excluding one-time items, grew to
81.5 million from
5.6 million the year before. Operating profit was
85 million against a consensus estimate of
continued its gain from Tuesday's better-than-expected results with a fresh rise of 36p to
13.48. CSFB says "buy" and has upped its target price for the shares from
continues to struggle as investors fret over the cable company's announcement last week that a shortage of set-top boxes has forced it to suspend its efforts to win new customers for its digital TV service. Telewest fell 10p, or 4.8%, to 200.
Top-of-the-range first-half earnings failed to inspire
, which slipped 6p to 426. However, suddenly there was support for supermarket chain
, which gained 11p to 297 following a positive fiscal first-quarter trading statement. Sainsbury's supermarket sales were up 5.5% and
same-store sales were up 3.1%.
reported a loss of nearly
81 million for the first half in its first set of figures since going public in June. The shares fell 5.5p to 129, their lowest level since the initial offering price of 160p.
Europe's other major stock markets were mixed. The
in Paris was up 50.67 to 6514.58 and the
in Frankfurt was down 35.8 to 7295.24.
Before briefly being suspended from trading,
fell 1.70 euros to 46.00 ($43.15) and
was unchanged at 37.49 euros after the two announced their merger talks had failed. Both banks could now become takeover targets for foreign predators.
erased early gains made after the electronics giant reported that third-quarter profit jumped 134% to a massive 832 million euros. Midday, Siemens was down 2.34 euros to 175.66. Semiconductor-making subsidiary
also erased early gains and was down 2.60 euros at 78.40.
rose 0.36 euro to 56.56, before the imminent release of the carmaker's second-quarter figures.
European telcos were mostly higher, with
up 0.97 euros at 50.87,
up 0.50 euros at 140.50 and
0.44 euros higher at 23.99.