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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  NASDAQ OMX STOCKHOLM  >  ABB Ltd    ABB   CH0012221716

ABB LTD

(ABB)
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ABB Rises as CEO Steps Down, 1Q Earnings Beat Consensus -- Update

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04/17/2019 | 04:20am EDT

--Shares in ABB up more than 5%

--Chairman Peter Voser to become interim CEO after Ulrich Spiesshofer resigns

--First-quarter earnings ahead of expectations

By Nathan Allen

Shares in ABB rose Wednesday morning after the Swiss engineering company posted better-than-expected first-quarter earnings and said Chief Executive Ulrich Spiesshofer has stepped down.

ABB's net profit for the January-March period dropped 6% to $535 million but easily outstripped a FactSet-compiled consensus of $431.5 million. Orders edged up 1% to $7.61 billion, while revenue climbed 6% to $6.85 billion.

However, the main focus is on the surprise resignation of Ulrich Spiesshofer, a 14-year veteran of the company with more than five years in the top job.

At 0802 GMT ABB was trading 5.6% higher at 21.24 Swiss francs ($21.12).

While Mr. Spiesshofer had some success in pruning the group's portfolio and overseeing a $6.4 billion sale of its power-grids unit, he came under fire from shareholders--notably activist investor Cevian Capital--for failing to deliver a more radical restructuring.

Under his leadership, the company's share price remained subdued, falling around 0.8% since he started, compared with gains of 21% at rival Siemens and 18% at Schneider Electric SE over the same period.

Chairman Peter Voser, a former CEO of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, will become ABB's interim CEO until a replacement for Mr. Spiesshofer has been found.

Citi analyst Martin Wilkie said the leadership shakeup is likely linked to a broader shift in ABB's strategy, rather than any dissatisfaction with earnings, and will be welcomed by investors.

"The company is moving from a phase of strategy definition to execution, and the departure looks linked to the entering of this new phase," he said.

Write to Nathan Allen at nathan.allen@dowjones.com

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ABB LTD -1.01% 18.995 Delayed Quote.2.78%
ABB LTD -0.79% 181.65 Delayed Quote.7.47%
ROYAL DUTCH SHELL -0.72% 28.775 Delayed Quote.13.04%
SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC SE -0.41% 72.9 Real-time Quote.22.54%
SIEMENS -1.36% 105.56 Delayed Quote.10.10%
WTI -0.88% 62.13 Delayed Quote.39.63%
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Financials ($)
Sales 2019 28 903 M
EBIT 2019 2 839 M
Net income 2019 1 820 M
Debt 2019 5 145 M
Yield 2019 4,32%
P/E ratio 2019 20,71
P/E ratio 2020 12,89
EV / Sales 2019 1,59x
EV / Sales 2020 1,51x
Capitalization 40 896 M
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Technical analysis trends ABB LTD
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TrendsNeutralBullishNeutral
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
 
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 22
Average target price 22,7 $
Spread / Average Target 20%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Ulrich Spiesshofer President & Chief Executive Officer
Peter R. Voser Chairman
Timo J. Ihamuotila Chief Financial Officer
Jacob Wallenberg Vice Chairman
Matti Juhani Alahuhta Independent Non-Executive Director
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