FRANKFURT - Shares in struggling German chipmaker Infineon Technologies AG soared on Wednesday after the company said it was selling its wireline communications unit (WLC) for 250 million euros ($349.5 million).
The sale to a U.S. investor, announced late on Tuesday, provides Infineon with badly needed cash, boosting its refinancing efforts, but analysts said further measures are still needed to stabilise the company's position.
Infineon shares rose as much as 13 percent and were up 8.5 percent at 2.67 euros by 1239 GMT, one of the biggest gainers among German stocks .PG.DE, and outperforming the DJ Stoxx technology index .SX8P, which was down 0.3 percent.
The stock is a fraction of its 93.6 euros peak seen in 2000, shortly after its flotation.
The deal looks attractive as it has a positive impact on (Infineon's) growth and margin profile, Commerzbank analyst Thomas Becker wrote in a note.
The signalling effect of the disposal is clearly positive, however, given wireline's contribution of only 10 percent to group sales ... it does not trigger a revaluation, he added, keeping a hold rating on the stock.
Kepler analyst Tobias Loskamp said the deal was positive but kept a reduce rating on Infineon shares, arguing: financing is not solve and the asset sale proves that there are limited options to raise cash elsewhere.
REFINANCING STILL ON
Infineon faces refinancing needs of around 770 million euros over the next year and has pledged to come up with a refinancing plan by the summer.
The group raised 180 million euros with a convertible bond issue in May and in June it slightly raised its outlook for fiscal third-quarter sales growth.
Infineon Chief Executive Peter Bauer said on a conference call the sale of WLC did not mean the issue of refinancing was fully resolved. The topic is not yet concluded, he said, adding the company would consider all options in its refinancing efforts.
He declined to comment on possible state aid or a future capital hike, but ruled out the divestment of other divisions.
WLC, Infineon's only profitable unit, has been hit by a weak market environment, but had an operating profit of 3 million euros in the first six months of Infineon's fiscal year.
Infineon, which is due to report third-quarter figures on July 29, posted sales of 747 million euros and a net loss from continuing operations of 258 million euros in the quarter ended March 31.
Europe's biggest automotive chip supplier will have four units left after the sale: Automotive, Wireless Solutions, Industrial & Multimarket and Chip Card & Security.
The chipmaker competes with privately owned Dutch NXP as well as Texas Instruments and STMicroelectronics. (Editing by David Holmes)