Banc of America downgraded Kimberly Clark (KMB) to market perform from strong buy.
Analyst William Clark says the downgrade is due to foreign exchange and increasing competition across the company's paper-based businesses. He cut the $3.55 2001 EPS estimate to $3.46, and cut the $3.94 2002 estimate to $3.81. He says the currency is likely to depress results going forward, as the pound, euro and Brazilian real continue to weaken. Clark adds that price cutting could come as a low-priced private label is gaining substantial share in paper towels and toilet paper.