Eurozone flight to quality? Really!

EMS-Chemie

EMS-Chemie rose 3.8 percent to 333.50 Swiss francs as the chemical producer posted Ebitda of 424 million francs ($472 million) for 2013, beating the 413.5 million-franc average analyst projection. The company also said it will pay a dividend of 8.50 francs a share for 2013, exceeding the Bloomberg Dividend Forecast of 8 francs. It also announced an extraordinary dividend of 2.50 francs.

Statoil ASA added 5.7 percent to 157.50 kroner. Norway’s national oil company scaled back its spending plans for the three years through 2016 by 8 percent to about $20 billion a year in an attempt to increase its free cash flow. The company earlier reported a 27 percent drop in quarterly profit.

Tele2 AB climbed 3.9 percent to 74.20 kronor after TMT Finance reported that Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. has held talks to acquire the company’s Swedish business. A deal could value the unit at more than $6.3 billion, according to people familiar with the matter cited by the website.

Daimler Advances

Daimler AG gained 1.5 percent to 63.44 euros as Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche said he intends to increase the prices of some of the company’s vehicles because demand has outstripped supply.

SBM Offshore slumped 12 percent to 12.05 euros. The company said in a statement that a former employee tried to extort money by threatening to disclose information related to an ongoing investigation into possible improper sales practices. SBM hired outside counsel and accountants in 2012 to probe its operations in three different countries.

Outotec Oyj plunged 10 percent to 6.96 euros. The Finnish mining-equipment supplier posted fourth-quarter net income of 13.2 million euros ($18 million). That missed the 36.1 million- euro average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company also cut its dividend to 20 euro cents per share. That compares with the Bloomberg Dividend Forecast that the company would maintain its payout at 30 euro cents.

National benchmark indexes rose in every western-European market except Iceland today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 0.2 percent, while Germany’s DAX rose 0.5 percent. France’s CAC 40 added 1 percent. The volume of shares changing hands in companies listed on the Stoxx 600 was 16 percent greater than the 30-day average, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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