* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.5 pct to fresh 5-yr closing high
* Euro STOXX 50, Germany's Dax also scale new closing peaks
* Intesa Sanpaolo, Deutsche Post, EADS gain on profit beats
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, May 14 (Reuters) - European shares stretched to a
new five-year closing high on Tuesday, helped by a batch of
forecast-beating company results and renewed signs of appetite
for stocks from cash-rich investors.
Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo, German mail company
Deutsche Post and French industrial conglomerate EADS
were among top gainers after reporting better-than
expected-profits, overshadowing some cautious operational
In a generally disappointing quarterly reporting season so
far, European companies have performed better on earnings than
on sales, with 48 percent of them meeting or beating consensus
expectations on the former metric and 41 percent on the latter,
Thomson Reuters data showed.
The divergence was even more marked in the United States, a
key focus for investors across the globe, where 72 percent of
companies have met or beaten consensus on earnings and only 28
percent on sales.
"The ability of the corporates to still beat expectations on
earnings shows that there is resilience and cost control and is
a reason for the momentum," said Lorne Baring, managing director
at B Capital, who has long positions on German, French and U.S.
"Of course that (momentum) is backed by the non-stop
quantitative easing from central banks."
His views were mirrored by influential U.S. investor David
Alan Tepper, who said in a CNBC interview on Tuesday that he was
still bullish on stocks in light of continued monetary stimulus
from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Tepper's comments, along with data forecasting an
acceleration in U.S. chain stores sales in May, helped U.S.
stocks rise and the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index
end 0.5 percent higher at 1,236.62 points, a closing high not
seen since mid-2008.
Germany's Dax rose 0.7 percent to 8,339.11 points,
a new all-time closing high, while the euro zone Euro STOXX 50
added 0.7 percent to 2,795.63, a closing level not
seen since July 2011.
Both indexes were roughly 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent off
intra-day highs hit last week, respectively.
Charts showed a rally in European equity indexes had lost
momentum since last Friday, with the Euro STOXX 50 dropping out
of a rising wedge pattern started in April, leading some
technical traders to bet on a pullback in the short term.
"I can't see the tops holding," Steve Ruffley, market
strategist at spreadbetting provider InterTrader, said.
"I expect a downturn in the euro zone if the Euro STOXX 50
doesn't make a higher high on the daily chart and the Dax
He sees the Dax falling back to 7,882, a level roughly
corresponding to the index's weekly high in the seven days to
April 12, by the end of next week.