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FRANKFURT (dpa-AFX) - A surprisingly weak supplier business on Wednesday pushed Continental shares to their lowest level since the beginning of November. The automotive supplier and tire manufacturer had published weak figures for the first quarter the evening before, which investors acknowledged with sales.

The share lost 4.2 percent to 62.74 euros in the late morning and was thus also at the bottom of the DAX. Since the beginning of the year, it has now lost 18.5 percent of its value, making it the third biggest loser in the leading German index after RWE and Bayer.

In the first quarter, Conti once again felt the effects of the problems in the automotive supply sector and posted a loss in its current business. Sales in the business with car manufacturers also declined. The company's operating result was almost 50 percent below the consensus estimate, with the majority being attributable to the automotive division, said a trader. On top of this, the free cash flow (FCF) also missed the average analyst estimate by around 200 million euros.

With the figures presented, Conti has once again undercut the already low expectations, criticized analyst Michael Aspinall from Jefferies. Analyst Tim Rokossa of Deutsche Bank noted that the fact that the Hanover-based group was nevertheless sticking to its annual targets made them appear even more ambitious than before, especially for the supplier business. Since, according to him, not too much is to be expected from the second quarter either, almost everything now depends on the course of business in the second half of the year.

The trader specified that the retained forecasts for 2024 would require a significant improvement in margins in the coming quarters. "Investors will now be looking for evidence that the weakness in the opening quarter is due to pricing and not weak business per se," he summarized./ck/ajx/jha/