The rise in the Ibex 35 in the first few minutes of Monday’s session, when it rose 3% to over 8,000 points could not last. And it didn’t. Half an hour after the market opened, it began its downward spiral once again towards the 7,700 level. It lost over 2% and stayed there almost until the close, with the fall mirrored in the rest of the European exchanges.
Before the crisis, Metrovacesa was one of the five big Spanish property companies, born out of Madrid’s expansion with the construction of the underground in the first few decades of the XXth century.
Newcomer to the stock exchange, Cellnex (a subsidiary of Abertis in the business of telecommunications networks) and oldtimer Viscofan (which manufactures cellulose wrapping for the food sector) will substitute two new generation construction companies (Sacyr and OHL). Both of these firms are controlled either by families or professionals.
Inversis | Spanish oil giant Repsol SA will sell its 42,000 supply points of LPG (Liquefied petroleum gas) at 63 million euros. It plans to divest €6.2 billion in nonstrategic assets and cut spending by 38% “without altering its company profile” as part of its 2016-20 strategic plan.
F. Barciela / F. Gil Ljubetic | If there had been a recovery in the Ibex 35 companies previously, it’s clear that this has stopped or slowed in the January-March period. Amongst those which have already presented first quarter results, very few have given investors much of a reason to be happy.
BARCLAYS | Gamesa posted a very solid start to the year with sales growth of 30% driving a 6% beat to company-compiled consensus. EBIT beat by 24% as the Group margin reached 11.2%, up 330bps year on year. Free cash flow was negative €107m (by our calculations), a solid improvement versus Q1’15’s -€267m in what is always the weakest quarter of the year.
Spain’s second biggest bank BBVA said it posted a 53.8% drop in net profit to 709 million euros in the first quarter to March from a year earlier. The bank explained that quarterly results were hampered by a number of factors, including the impact of exchange rates, lower results from NTI and the lack of corporate operations.
The investor (or fund manager) who wants to have an idea of how the Spanish stock market is doing by looking at the sector index could be stepping into a trap. There can be a vast difference in profitability between one stock or another in the same sector.
Lately the markets are moving more to the beat of the big central banks’ drums than to the trend in corporate earnings. That’s the only way to explain how the Ibex is saving face, given that third quarter results presented so far (by 20 out of the 35 companies in the index) are 16% lower than expected, according to Bloomberg.