01 October 2009 14:47 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Umicore’s shares appear more expensive compared with its nearest peer Johnson Matthey due to speculation that they could be on Solvay’s shopping list, an analyst said on Thursday.
Umicore has been the focus of considerable media speculation since fellow Belgian company Solvay sold its pharmaceutical arm and announced it would be looking to reinvest the funds once the sale was completed.
The JPMorgan Cazenove analyst note said: "Umicore appears more expensive now that its nearest peer Johnson Matthey."
The company’s third quarter results were likely to “reflect a continuation of the mixed trends of the second quarter, with the summer months of July and August quieter.”
The note added that there were signs that customer demand was picking up but that visibility remained low.
It was predicted that precious metals products and catalysts would have seen a better third quarter as automobile sales picked up but that precious metal service was likely to be suffering due to the lack of automotive scrap available.
Umicore’s shares were trading at €20.56 on the Belgian Euronext at 13.41 local time.
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