Monday, July 29, 2013

"In leaving, Siemens CEO seeks to take down chairman" and Analysts See Upside (SI)

The U.S. traded ADR's are down 1.21% at $105.29.
From The New Age (Zaire):
Siemens CEO Peter Loescher, whose departure was announced after he issued profit warnings that wrecked the share price of one of Germany's largest industrial conglomerates, may drag the man who hired him down with him, a newspaper reported on Monday.

In what is quickly shaping up to be one of the most dramatic corporate battles in Germany in years, German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung cited company sources as saying Loescher was willing to resign only if supervisory board chairman Gerhard Cromme also leaves.

A spokesman for Siemens denied Loescher wants Cromme to go down with him. Loescher did not comment on the report.

Cromme, who hired the smooth-talking Austrian Loescher six years ago, lost his job as chairman at steelmaker ThyssenKrupp earlier this year.

Siemens said in a tersely worded statement on Saturday that Loescher would be leaving the company four years before his contract expires. Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters the majority of the 20-member supervisory board favoured fiance chief Joe Kaeser as a replacement for Loescher, who has failed to deliver on his promises of growth and profitability....MORE
Yesterday I mentioned the Chairman: "If it's Cromme as an interim CEO the U.S. traded ADR's are up 4% by the time of the announcement." but now I see the Financial Times, the WSJ and Bloomberg are really pitching CFO Joe Kaeser as the probable replacement.

The market might react better to the appointment of Siemens USA CEO Eric Spiegel but the German institutional holders and even the government are so darn conservative e.g the Washington Guardian story.
Merkel calls for Siemens' return to 'calm waters'
A German government spokesman says Chancellor Angela Merkel thinks it's important for Siemens AG "to return to calm waters" after the company's announcement that it plans to remove CEO Peter Loescher.
Spokesman George Streiter said Merkel considered Siemens "a flagship of Germany industry" while stressing that removing Loescher was "a company decision."...
That conservatism probably has them leaning CFO, unless of course the powers that be can come up with an actuary.

From MoneyBeat:
New CEO Could Prompt Hefty Siemens Gains 
Siemens AG shareholders could see a pretty payday if the company quickly appoints a new chief executive able to unlock value in the company’s portfolio.

Two days after Siemens signalled CEO Peter Loescher would be clearing out his desk, analysts said the right replacement, particularly one focused on streamlining Siemens’ complex spectrum of operations, could trigger a jump in the stock price.

Commerzbank analyst Ingo-Martin Schachel, who rates Siemens stock at add with a target price of €84 ($111.59), sees shares trading potentially as high as €100, a sizable advance from the current €79.62 trading level.

If the new CEO “continues to optimize the portfolio and starts to handle project risks in a more reliable way,” he could create “a leaner Siemens with 12% margins,” Mr. Schachel explained.
Last Thursday, Siemens said it would miss its target for a 12% profit margin in fiscal 2014, the latest in a string of warnings since Mr. Loescher took his post in 2007.

“If the eventual new CEO is able to improve project risk management, which should be very high on his agenda, this effect alone would drive our fair value above €93,” Mr. Schachel added.

J.P. Morgan Cazenove, which rates the stock neutral with a €88 target price, noted Siemens shares have historically outperformed the capital goods sector during restructuring, so a candidate who convinces investors of his restructuring capabilities could pull gains out of the stock.

As far as candidates go, most are betting on finance chief Joe Kaeser. Morgan Stanley, which rates the stock overweight with a €95 target price, sees Mr. Kaeser as the right candidate for effective restructuring and would expect a particularly positive market reaction were Mr. Kaeser appointed to the top spot....MORE