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Markets & Finance

Whirlpool Washes Out of S&P Top 10


On July 17, 2002, Standard & Poor's equity research group

made a change to the S&P Top 10 portfolio -- those stocks that we believe to be best-positioned for capital gains over the coming 6 to 12 months. Appliance-maker Whirlpool (WHR), which had been downgraded on July 16 from 5 STARS (buy) to 3 STARS (hold), was replaced with Procter & Gamble (PG).

S&P analyst Efraim Levy had lowered his ranking on Whirlpool on July 16, noting that his more conservative approach to the stock stemmed from reduced consumer confidence and the risk of a slowdown in the housing sector.

On the other hand, P&G, covered by S&P's Howard Choe, stands to benefit from the weaker U.S. dollar and improved volume and margin trends.

Here's the current list:

S&P Top 10 Portfolio

Company

Current Price

(7/17/02)

12-Month Target

Investment Rationale

Dean Foods

32.04

45

New products, improved distribution

Procter & Gamble

80.07

100

Foreign exchange trends, recent share-price drop

Quest Diagnostics

70.23

115

Strong fundamentals, attractive valuation

Microchip Technologies

26.52

40

Pure play in microcontroller chips

Nabors Industries

31.97

56

Natural-gas activity expected to rise

Citigroup

36.93

55

Trading at a big discount to historical valuation

Mohawk Industries

47.77

77

Strong demand, favorable costs

Constellation Brands

27.85

34

New products, lower costs, stock buybacks

Ambac Financial

56.96

78

Solid business model, franchise

Tenet Healthcare

*47.50

*61

Improving operations, low valuation

*Reflects 3-for-2 split.

For more information about the Top 10 portfolio, please visit http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/jun2002/pi20020617_8998.htm


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