Thomas Weisel upgraded PepsiCo (PEP) to buy from attractive.
Analyst Skip Carpenter says the recent weakness in the stock offers a compelling entry point. He notes that year to date, PEP shares are up only 3% vs. 19% for Coca-Cola (KO) and 12% for Anheuser Busch (BUD) He attributes the recent weakness to some rotation away from defensive shares in the face of growing evidence that the U.S. economy is rebounding. He thinks that while a vast majority of consumer non-cyclical stocks will have a challenging time outperforming the broader market indices during a recovery, PEP will remain a solid standout given its superior growth rates vs. comparable non-cyclicals.
Carpenter sees EPS of $1.94 in 2002 and $2.19 in 2003. He has a $60 price target.