Weekly review: the CAC40 hesitates, oil rises again, gold soars!

(Boursier.com) — New week of consolidation and hesitation for the Parisian market with the CAC40 losing 0.6%, returning to 8,011 points this Friday evening! European and American stock indices were further weighed down by doubts regarding the Fed’s rate cut schedule after a worse-than-expected inflation indicator in March across the Atlantic… The consumer price index consumption in March thus increased by 0.4% compared to the previous month, against a consensus of +0.3%. Excluding food and energy, volatile elements, the CPI also increased by 0.4% compared to February, while the consensus was +0.3%. Over one year, the consumer price index rose by 3.5% compared to +3.4% expected by the market and +3.2% in February, while ‘core’ annual inflation, the most closely monitored by the Fed, stood at 3.8%, against 3.7% consensus and +3.8% the previous month. Enough to make US bond yields tighten and push the dollar upwards…

In Europe, on the other hand, the consensus around a rate cut in June is strengthening within the board of governors of the European Central Bank after the last monetary meeting. The euro zone’s annual inflation rate stood at 2.4% in March, compared to 2.6% in February according to Eurostat’s flash estimate… In addition, the region returned to growth in March .

The week was also marked by the continued rise in oil prices against a backdrop of escalating tensions in the Middle East and constrained production. The global benchmark index, Brent (contract for June delivery), is trading at $92 in London, the highest level since last October. The ounce of gold, for its part, reached a new high at more than $2,400. Finally, on the currency front, the euro fell to $1.0645 against the greenback and bitcoin rose to $70,000.


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CGG : +11% with the barrel followed by Esso, while the group has just announced a plan to sell assets in the south of France to the company Rhône Energies. Esso has indeed started today a process of information and consultation with employee representative bodies for the sale of its refining and logistics activities in the south of France to the company Rhône Energies, a consortium made up of Entara LLC and Trafigura Pte Ltd. This sale project includes in particular the sale of the Esso refinery in Fos-sur-Mer, the Toulouse (Fondeyre) and Villette de Vienne depots.
As part of this project, 310 employees of the company Esso Raffinage and the company Esso SAF working on the sites concerned would be transferred to the new entity Rhône Energies in accordance with the regulations in force.
The Esso group will continue to supply its customers in the south of France and to serve the rest of the French market, in particular from its Gravenchon refinery, with energy products: fuels and specialty products: lubricants, base oils and bitumens. For this, favorable and predictable economic, tax and regulatory conditions are essential.
Rhône Energies’ purchase offer provides for the acquisition of assets and inventories on site(s). The implementation of the proposed sale remains subject to suspensive conditions as well as the usual formalities and authorizations for this type of transaction. This operation, subject to customary approvals, should be finalized by the end of 2024. No financial details have been leaked…

BioMerieux : +10%, investors welcoming the new GO28 strategic plan which opens a new chapter of growth and development for the company. Assuming a market environment without significant change, the group intends to achieve organic growth of 7% on average annually over 2024-2028; a contributing current operating profit increased to 20% of turnover in 2028, at constant exchange rates and scope (compared to 16.5% in 2023), with annual organic growth of at least 10% per year until 2028; annual investment expenses of between 8 and 10% of turnover over the period 2025-2028; and a dividend distribution rate of approximately 25% of net profit, Group share.
bioMérieux also reported consolidated turnover of 965 million euros in the first quarter, an increase of 6.6%. Organic growth (at constant exchange rates and consolidation scope) thus amounts to +9.8%, higher than expectations. Management confirmed its 2024 sales and operating results objectives, with organic sales growth of between +6% and +8%, and an increase in contributed current operating income of “at least +10%” at a rate of constant changes.
TP ICAP Midcap (‘keep’) describes a very good first quarter. The group still presents a defensive growth model with around 80-85% recurring turnover, profitable growth prospects but operational leverage thwarted in 2024 by exchange rates, an attractive valuation compared to history and peers, and acquisitive potential.

Valeo : +7% with Valneva, Derichebourg, Groupe Crit, Lhyfe and M&P

Ubisoft : +5% with Genfit, Innate

Societe Generale : +5% after a new sale of assets. The bank’s Board of Directors, meeting under the chairmanship of Lorenzo Bini Smaghi on April 11, indeed approved the sale of the shares of the Société Générale group (57.67%) in Société Générale Marocaine de Banques including its subsidiaries and the sale of all the shares held by Sogécap in the insurance company La Marocaine Vie. The Saham group would take over all of the activities operated by these subsidiaries and their customer portfolios, as well as all of the employees of these entities…
This divestment project is part of the execution of Societe Generale’s strategic roadmap, presented in September 2023, which aims to shape a simplified, more synergistic and efficient model while strengthening the Group’s capital. The transaction would be carried out at a price of 745 million euros and would have a positive effect estimated at around 15 basis points on the Group’s CET1 ratio upon finalization of the transaction which could take place by the end of 2024. The announcement of this agreement induces a negative accounting impact of approximately -75 ME on the Group’s 1st quarter 2024 results.
Société Générale and Saham have also outlined the outlines of a long-term commercial partnership which will allow corporate clients of Société Générale operating in Morocco to call on a banking partner locally… For the Saham group, this partnership will offer its future major customers of the support and financing solutions provided by the experts of the Société Générale group.
Among the latest broker opinions, Goldman Sachs is now selling Société Générale after the rebound in value, targeting a price of 25.55 euros. The stock has recovered more than 20% in the space of two months.
Operators also welcomed the proposed sale of professional equipment financing activities operated by Société Générale Equipment Finance (SGEF) to Groupe BPCE.
This transaction, which will be carried out at a price of 1.1 billion euros, will have a positive impact estimated at around 25 basis points on the Group’s CET1 ratio on the expected finalization date in the first quarter of 2025. It will mark an important milestone in the execution of Société Générale’s strategic roadmap, presented in September 2023, aimed at shaping a simplified, more synergistic and efficient model, while strengthening the bank’s capital…

Alstom : +4% with Neoen, Eurazeo

Publicis : +3%. The group published quarterly results better than expected thanks to its data and media activities, its “dynamic of gains in new business” as well as a “clear rebound” in the technology sector. Over the period from January to March, Publicis recorded net income of 3.23 billion euros, representing organic growth of 5.3%, higher than the 4%/5% range announced last February.
The company confirmed its forecasts for the year, with organic growth anticipated between 4% and 5%, describing its 4% target as “very solid”. For the second quarter, organic growth should be in the same range…
Among the latest broker opinions, Barclays overweights Publicis with a target raised from 107 to 115 euros, while Morgan Stanley (‘overweight’) believes that the strong overall organic growth in the first quarter, despite the relative weakness of Sapient, will convince the market that Publicis can “at least” hit the high end of its fiscal 2024 guidance. The brokerage expects an upward revision to consensus organic growth estimates for 2024, noting that Sapient is expected to gradually recover over the course of the year… Citi (‘neutral’) noted that results were “well distributed”, notably thanks to the improvement of Sapient’s capabilities, as well as the rebound of the technology sector and China…

Equasens : +3% followed by M6, and TotalEnergies which reached a record level

On the decline, Casino falls by 15%, followed by Edenred (-10%) and VusionGroup

Believe : -9%. The Consortium recalls that it concluded contracts on February 11, 2024 with certain shareholders of Believe (TCV, XAnge, Ventech and Denis Ladegaillerie) with a view to acquiring blocks of shares representing 71.9% of the capital of Believe at the price of 15 euros per share, and that it will file, following the completion of these acquisitions, a simplified public purchase offer for the shares of Believe at a price of 15 euros per share. All necessary competition law approvals have now been obtained.
After discussion with the independent expert and the ad hoc committee, the Consortium indicates that it does not intend to request a squeeze-out in the context of the simplified public purchase offer at 15 euros per share which will follow. the acquisition of blocks representing 71.9% of the capital of Believe.
The Consortium reiterates its commitment to allow Believe to continue to develop around its founder while respecting the values ​​held by the company.

Atos : -9% followed by OVH

BigBen : -7% with Argan

Interparfums : -5% in the company of Pluxee, Eutelsat and McPhy

TechnipEnergies : -3% followed by Vicat, Worldline, Elior, Accor, Airbus

Hermes : -2.5% followed by LVMH and Dior with Crédit Agricole

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