FRANKFURT/PARIS (dpa-AFX) - Investors reacted negatively to BMW's quarterly figures on Wednesday. In particular, the surprisingly weak profitability of the car manufacturer depressed sentiment. However, the shares were able to visibly stem the initially significant losses. They had already come under pressure recently after the presentation of figures by competitors, which now limited the losses, explained UBS analyst Patrick Hummel.

After the early slide of 5.4 percent to a three-month low, the share price was still down 2.9 percent to 101.20 euros at midday. However, BMW shares remained one of the biggest daily losers on the DAX. The sector as a whole was also affected: In the leading German index, the shares of sports car manufacturer Porsche AG lost 3.3 percent. Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz fared better, with losses of 0.7 and 0.5 percent respectively.

The European car index was one of the weakest sub-indices in the broad-based Stoxx Europe 600, down 1 per cent, and was also weighed down by negatively received final figures from car supplier and tire manufacturer Continental, whose shares fell by 1.5 per cent.

Despite the good performance of expensive models and increased sales figures, BMW's profitability in the car segment fell more sharply than expected at the beginning of the year. In addition to higher manufacturing costs due to inflation, the further increase in the share of all-electric models, which are not yet so high-margin, had a negative impact. BMW kept sales almost stable. The annual targets were confirmed.

Analysts emphasized that the margin in the car segment was only slightly below expectations. This should also gradually improve as the year progresses, so that the latest development is "no drama", wrote Bernstein expert Stephen Reitman.

Apart from this key figure, BMW performed solidly in the first quarter, seconded his colleague Philipp Houchois from the analyst firm Jefferies. Jose Asumendi from the US bank JPMorgan also confirmed that the company had made a good start to the year.

With regard to the confirmed outlook, UBS expert Hummel emphasized that BMW does not expect seasonality in 2024 as in the previous year, with a strong first half and a weak second half. This is important in view of the weak first quarter. Rather, BMW is confident and expects relatively stable business trends in the coming quarters./gl/men/mis