Markets & Finance

Downgrading P&G to Hold


Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that S&P upgraded Procter & Gamble. S&P downgraded the stock.

Procter & Gamble (PG), Clorox (CLX), Dial (DL): Downgrades to 3 STARS (hold) from 4 STARS (accumulate)

Analyst: Howard Choe

Coupled with sector rotation out of defensive stocks, full valuation and the devaluation of the Argentine peso currency is likely drag on these stocks near term. While widespread contagion in Latin America is not believed likely, S&P believes fears of residual pressures on regional currencies will persist. S&P is maintaining opinions on Avon (AVP), which have a 3 STARS (hold) ranking, and Kimberly-Clark (KMB), which has a 2 STARS (avoid) ranking.

Lucent Technologies: Maintains 3 STARS (hold)

Analyst: Ari Bensinger

The technology giant named Eastman Kodak's president &

COO Patricia Russo as new CEO, replacing Henry Schacht

who has been interim CEO since October 2000. Russo

worked at AT&T/Lucent for 20 years before joining

Kodak in April 2001. Being a former CEO of the service

provider division, Russo understands industry dynamics

and company culture. Given Lucent's refocus on top

service providers, S&P sees Russo as a good fit. S&P

also believes Lucent, with its large customer base, is

well positioned to recover during the next spending

upturn. At 1.5 times S&P's fiscal 2002 (Sept.) sales

estimate, in line with peers, Lucent is fairly valued.

Great Atlantic & Pacfific (): Maintains 3 STARS

(hold)

Analyst: Joseph Agnese

The grocery chain posted November quarter EPS of $0.08 before

charges, vs. a loss of $0.38, $0.01 above Street.

Total sales were up 4.0%, comparable-store sales rose

3.3%. The results exclude $2.49 , in charges related

to a previously announced asset disposition program.

Great S&P is on schedule with the majority of 39

stores expected to be closed by the end of fiscal 2002

(Feb.). The program should result in annual EPS

benefit of about $0.35. S&P expects continuing costs

associated with supply-chain strategic initiatives of

about $0.35 per share in Q4, and is Keeping the fiscal

2002 estimate of $0.02 loss per share. The 'hold'

ranking is based on turnaround progress.

Eastman Kodak (EK): Maintains 3 STARS (hold)

Analyst: Richard Stice

Patricia Russo is resigning after only nine months to

become CEO of Lucent Technologies. Chairman and CEO

Daniel Carp will re-assume roles as the search begins

for a replacement. The news is disappointing,

particularly as Kodak deals with slumping demand,

realignment of business units. However, S&P believes

Mr. Carp is more than capable of handling the role on

an interim basis. While an announcement may delay

completion of Kodak's turnaround plan, with shares

trading at discount to peers and the broader market on

a price-earnings basis, Kodak is okay to hold.


Best LBO Ever
LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW

Sponsored Financial Commentaries

Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!

 
blog comments powered by Disqus