Solid earnings results help limit European stock market decline

(C) john thys/Agence France-Presse/Getty ImagesEUROPE MARKETS

Load Error European companies including recruiter Randstad, household products giant Unilever and truck maker Volvo recorded stronger-than-forecast results on Thursday, helping to limit the decline in markets. The Stoxx Europe 600 slipped 0.2%, taking its cue from weakness in U.S. stock futures

Unilever shares climbed 2% after reporting 2.5% underlying sales growth in the third quarter, helped by price hikes of 4.1%. Randstad shares climbed 6% after recording a stronger-than-forecast rise in underlying earnings before interest, taxes and amortization. Volvo shares edged lower after the truck maker also beat earnings forecasts, with truck deliveries climbing 17%.

CD Projekt shares skidded 8% after delaying the next-generation versions of Cyberpunk 2077 and Witcher III. Zur Rose shares tumbled 8% after cutting its forecast for sales growth this year to 15% from 20%. Sales growth in Germany, which is moving to electronic prescriptions, slowed to 15% from 36% in the second quarter.

Hydrogen producer Nel jumped 15% after reporting 55% revenue growth — beating estimates by about 25% — and saying its pipeline of potential orders stands at more than £6 billion. “Clearly, Nel will not win all 800 projects but the scale of the increase provides useful context for the direction of travel in the industry,” said analysts at Berenberg Clean Energy.

According to FactSet, Stoxx Europe 600 companies are now forecast to see earnings per share growth of 51% in the third quarter, up from estimates of 40% growth at the end of June.

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