ZURICH/BERLIN, April 18 (Reuters) - The Swiss blue-chip SMI was seen opening 0.2 percent higher at 9,613 points on Thursday, according to premarket indications by bank Julius Baer .
Here are some of the main factors that may affect Swiss stocks:
The food group confirmed it expected organic sales growth to exceed 3 percent this year after good momentum in the United States and China helped it post better-than-expected sales growth in the first three months.
Shares indicated up 1.4 pct
The issue price of new shares offered in lieu of a cash dividend will be set at a discount of 8.0 percent to a reference share price, the company said, adding that it believed this would be an opportunity to increase investment.
The drug ingredients maker stuck to its full-year targets on Thursday and said it would give an update on its business portfolio review in the second half amid "headwinds" in its specialty ingredients division.
The biotech group said all four trials of its late-stage drug hopefuls were on track as it confirmed expectations of spending 570 million Swiss francs ($564 million) in the current year on its projects.
* Stadler Rail AG: wins contract in Finland to supply 60 locomotives for the VR group; total contract value is around 200 million euros
* Gurit Holding AG said it acquired PET recycling facilities in Italy from Valplastic.
Rieter Holding AG - Credit Suisse cuts to "neutral" from "outperform"
ROCHE HOLDING AG: JP MORGAN RAISES PRICE TARGET TO CHF 310 FROM CHF 300
ROCHE HOLDING AG: CREDIT SUISSE RAISES PRICE TARGET TO SFR 275 FROM SFR 265
AUTONEUM HOLDING AG: CREDIT SUISSE CUTS PRICE TARGET TO SFR 170 FROM SFR 210
Swiss trade surplus widens in March, watch exports up 4.4 pct y/y in nominal terms (Reporting by Zurich newsroom and Berlin Speed Desk)