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Salomon Cuts RenaissanceRe to 'Neutral'


Salomon Smith Barney downgraded RenaissanceRe Holdings (RNR) to neutral from buy.

Analyst Marco Pinzon says he's downgrading solely on valuation. He notes RenaissanceRe shares have risen 20% since he reviewed second-quarter results on July 23, and now trade in line with his $38 target. Pinzon continues to rank RennaissanceRe as the premier reinsurer in the sector based on strong management and a strong track record, but he thinks this view is now fully reflected in the stock.

Pinzon maintains his $38 target, based on a stated book value multiple of 2.1, or 1.9 times his 2002 book value per share estimate. He also is keeping a positive view of market conditions in the reinsurance and insurance sectors.


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