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European Stocks to Watch: Volvo

Volvo shares rose 7.8% Friday after the Swedish automaker reported forecast-beating numbers for the first quarter, as strong demand in Europe compensated for a drop in U.S. truck orders.

Volvo’s net profit fell 6% to 3.75 billion Swedish krona ($548.7 million) compared with 3.98 billion Swedish krona in the year-earlier quarter, beating expectations of analysts polled by Reuters for a profit of 3.23 billion Swedish krona.

Volvo’s net sales for the first-quarter fell 3% to 61 billion Swedish krona compared with 62.7 billion for the same period last year.

Demand in the U.S. for Volvo’s vehicles declined as truck sales fell 36%.

"The North American truck market has dropped significantly, as expected,” Volvo President and CEO Leif Johansson said in a statement. “We have implemented cutbacks in North America during the first quarter adapting to the lower demand.”

Alcatel-Lucent (up 1.5%) The French-American telecommunications group reported Friday a 244 million euro ($330.3 million) operating loss for the three months ended March 31, hurt by the cost of its $13.4 billion merger, but the company expects sales to rise 10% in the second quarter.

RWE (up 6.2%) Shares of Germany's electricity provider rose on a report from a German radio station SWR that French utility company Electricite de France plans to buy RWE, which has a market value of 46.4 billion euros ($62.5 billion).