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Salomon Neutral on DuPont

Salomon Smith Barney downgraded DuPont (DD) to neutral from buy.

Analyst P.J. Juvekar says the company has preannounced for the second time in Q2 as demand continues to slow. He says there's also major declines coming from the auto, textile and electronic industries. The strength in the U.S. dollar also is hurting DuPont's sales as 45% of sales come from outside of the U.S.

Juvekar thinks the good news about the pharmaceutical divestiture already is reflected in the stock, and says the near-term news is getting worse as global economies slow, especially in Europe. Juvekar thinks DuPont's 10% earnings growth target is a "mathematical challenge." He cut the $1.95 2001 EPS estimate to $1.55, and cut the $2.60 2002 EPS estimate to $2.25. He also cut the $50 target to $45.

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