Daily International Briefing from Global Investing (NVS, CAL, PT, TII, CVE, BCS, GSK, TEVA, MLNX, ORA)

Covestor.com’s model manager Vivian Lewis offers her daily international briefing. Note that not all companies are held in the International Yield Covestor Model. Rather, some are just International Companies that Vivian tracks.

Followed Securities

Disclaimer: Vivian currently owns GSK, CVE and BCS in her Covestor Top International Model.

The value of the Novartis (NYSE: NVS) offer for Alcon (NYSE: CAL) rose thanks to NVS sales rising. But there is more to come as the Swiss are forced to clean up their act. With Mme. Bettencourt of France threatening to sell her stake in the cosmetics giant if the French give her a hard time over disputes with her daughter over her toy-boy revealing illicit political contributions tax evasion under French law, the billionairess may wind up moving her show to Switzerland. But she won't if hanky-panky by Nestle over ACL threatens her own wealth.

Teleonica hired a Dutch law firm to help dissolve a venture with Portugal Telecom (NYSE: PT) after abandoning a 7.15 bn-euro ($9.3 bn) offer to buy out its Portuguese partner, according to someone who tipped off Bloomberg. TEF is said to have hired De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, the firm that worked for PT and TEF when they set up Brasilcel NV, a Dutch 50-50 joint ventures which controls Brazil’s largest mobile-phone company, Vivo. Telefonica declined to comment. On Friday night, TEF turned down an appeal for more time from the PT board. Over the weekend, Luso, the Portuguese press agency, said that negotiations between the two companies in fact are continuing. But TEF made it clear that no talks are being held, and that it is using laws to try to snatch VIV.

Watch for a move by a hitherto hidden player, TelMex (NYSE: TII), whose Carlos Slim Helu may grab an opportunity to queer TEF's rivalry to his firm in Latin America by buying out PT.

Cenovus Energy (NYSE: CVE) is moving to the wild frontier of oil sands. CVE is drilling a test well into a bitumen deposit in Grand Rapids (200 miles from Edmonton, in northeastern Alberta, not Michigan). CVE is filing applications to produce by 2017 180,000 bbls commercially at the huge Grand Rapids site which has thinner oilsainds than the main Fort McMurray. This is bad but the Grand Rapids geology is very interesting so other firms are moving in, along with a planned pipeline. Grand Rapids bitumen lies above a heavy oil reservoir (the Wabiskaw) and a carbonate formation (the Grosmont), a massive 400-bn bbl oil deposit. Nobody has yet figured out how to extract oil from carbonates on a commercial scale. But of course if there is activity and a pipeline, chances are higher that CNV will figure someothing out. So you now know why CVE has been borrowing. CSFB analysts raised their target to C$35 from 34 joining the Bay St. chorus line.

One sterling stock is Barclays (NYSE: BCS). It will pass the European stress tests with flying colors. It will pick up USA business from rival banks hampered by US regs against their risking depositors' money, which do not apply in Britain. It will pay less generous salaries with a delay under British regs, which actually will help shareholders. BCS.

Some more about Glaxo Smith Kline (NYSE: GSK) which is one of the sterling companies. GSK posted a $2.44 bn (GBP 1.57 bn) reserve for this quarter to cover various litigation including over its diabetes drug, Avandia. Its statistical increase in heart attack risk, at 43%, sounds scary but the risk is low. First of all there were no more heart-diseases deaths among Avandia patients than with other diabetes drugs. Moreover the increase is from one very small number to another very small number.

Barclays now rates GSK “overweight with a GBP 13.8 target. It estimates Q2 profit will come in at off 12.5% this year vs last year (boosted by swine flu jabs). Also tipping GSK after the price drop were UBS and Royal Bank of Scotland analysts. The consensus estimate (Thomson) was raised 5.2% for 2010 and the current p/e ratio is 12.9.

Thomson analysts' consensus cut their estimates for Teva (NASDAQ: TEVA) earnings to $4.53/sh rating the Israeli generics co. p/e ratio 9.8 for 2010 and 8.7 for 2011. Teva failed to overturn a Pfizer patent for Protonix, the heartburn medication, but expect appeals. Meanwhile TEVA has to pay PFE a royalty on sales made after a lower court ruled for Teva, that the patented material was “obvious.”

The node cluster of computers at the University of Colorado researching drugs and health will benefit from pipes to be supplied by Mellanox (NASDAQ: MLNX) to build supercomputing capacity. MLNX of Israel supplies Infiniband input-output hardware to link up research computers via a modern field of dry bones.

Bonus stock Ormat (NYSE: ORA) is also in play as the ruling Israeli family controlling the US geothermal energy co. cancelled a board meeting called by a pushy minority shareholder in ORA's parent co. If it sounds like The Netherlands or Switzerland, it is because Tel Aviv too is a place where corporations are HQ's to maintain control. The game is not being played in Nevada (yet) where ORA is seriously underpriced.