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European earnings season ain’t ugly after all

Companies continue to report results for the first half of this year and it seems the market was too conservative after all. Below are some blue chip European companies which reported results above expectations, paving the way for another good week for equity markets.

ASML

Semiconductor production equipment maker ASML saw net revenue advance 5.2% year-on-year to €1.74 billion from €1.65 billion as it enjoyed volume growth in a majority of its product lines and pushed forward with the sales of upgraded equipment.

Meanwhile, ASML also saw net income drop 4.3%, to €353.8 million from €369.7 million and diluted earnings per share to €0.83 from €0.85 in the second quarter.

ASML which supplies its equipment to all of the world's top chip makers, said that in the quarter, sales of ArF immersion systems progressed well. It also said it took in four new orders from foundry and memory customers for its next-generation extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography system, taking the company's production backlog for the system to 10 units worth €1 billion.

Unilever

Unilever reported second-quarter sales growth that beat estimates as the maker of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream delivered sales gains in deodorants and haircare products.

Underlying revenue rose 4.7%, compared with the 4.5% market expectations. Growth remained steady with the first quarter, yet the gains came mostly from higher prices for its goods as sales volumes slowed.

ABB

Swiss engineering group ABB is making good progress with its turnaround plan although the environment remains challenging and sales and new orders fell in the second quarter.

The overhaul, which began in 2014, has seen the industrial robot maker combine some of its businesses, cut labor costs and exit riskier projects.

ABB pressed ahead with cost-cutting efforts in the second quarter, including consolidating more than 60 service centers into two sites in India and Poland to handle finance and personnel issues.

SAP

Unexpectedly strong growth in high-margin packaged software licenses fuelled quarterly earnings of Europe's largest software company SAP, which confirmed its full-year outlook.

Second-quarter operating profit, excluding special items, rose 9% to 1.52 billion euros, beating average analysts' expectations of 1.45 billion euros.

SAP, whose customers include many of the world's biggest multinational corporations, specializes in business applications ranging from accounting to human resources to supply-chain management.

Daimler

Daimler AG on Thursday reported a slight increase in second-quarter net profit, as higher earnings from its bus and van operations offset one-off charges and lower earnings at its Mercedes-Benz car division.

Earnings at Daimler were hit by expenses for the recall of autos outfitted with faulty Takata airbags, a huge write-down of vehicles damaged or destroyed in the Tianjin, China harbor explosion and around €400 million set aside to pay for fines in connection with European cartel investigations. 

This article was issued by Kristian Camenzuli, Investment Manager at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt . The information, views and opinions provided in this article are being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice.  

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