Ericsson report boosts stock exchange

Strong interim reports from Ericsson, Volvo and TeliaSonera put the Stockholm stock exchange in a bullish mood as the trading week ended on Friday.

Stockholm stock exchange’s OMXS index climbed by 2.7 percent to 321.5 points at close of trading on Friday afternoon. Telecom was the sector that performed best.

Ericsson’s stock climbed by 16.56 percent to close at 14.5 kronor ($2.42) as confidence returned after a winter of turbulence for the Swedish telecom company.

Ericsson reported a 2.619 billion kronor after-tax profit for the first quarter 2008 on sales of 44.175 billion kronor, up 5% on the same period 2007, and above market expectations of 41.800 billion kronor.

TeliaSonera’s results also exceeded analyst expectations with profits up 600 million kronor to 6.6 billion kronor for the first quarter 2008. TeliaSonera’s stock had climbed 6.7 percent to 52.50 kronor by close of trading.

Record profits were also reported by truck-maker Volvo. Despite a weak North American market Volvo reported profits of 6.5 billion kronor for the first quarter 2008. A positive forecast sent the firm’s stock up 3.4 percent to 90.60 kronor by close.

Vehicle parts manufacturer Haldex continued the positive trend with profits up to 93 million kronor and its stock responded accordingly, up 5.8 percent to 109.00 kronor by close.

Tobacco maker Swedish Match dampened the mood somewhat in the afternoon with weak profits in the first quarter on the back of declining demand in the USA. The firm’s stock dropped 4.2 percent to 124.50 kronor by close of trading.

Several of the hard-hit finance stocks responded well on Friday as traders began to sense light after several dark months. Swedbank climbed 2.2 percent to 164.5 kronor, Nordea 1.6 percent to 98.00 kronor and SEB 2.3 percent to 153.50 kronor. Handelslbanken fell 0.8 percent to 166.00 kronor.

Other European indices continued the positive trend on Friday although with more modest gains. Wall street had a mixed day.

London’s FTSE climbed 0.7 percent to 6,091.4, Frankfurt’s DAX index climbed 1.0 percent to 6,888.1, Paris’ CAC 40 was up 1.0 percent to 4,978.2.

New York’s Dow Jones index crept up 0.33 percent to close at 12,891.86 while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.25 percent to 2,422.93.