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Salomon Upgrades Kimberly-Clark to 'Outperform'

Salomon Smith Barney upgraded Kimberly-Clark (KMB) to outperform.

Analyst Chip Dillon says his upgrade is due to a sharp stock price decline in recent months. He says that Kimberly-Clark's stock has already discounted an all but draconian change for the worse. Dillon says even if management declares in its Dec. 11 conference call that it sees 2003 earnings per share flat with this year's $3.45 estimate, the stock is attractive at current levels. He notes only a reversal of the company's 25-year "consumer" transformation into the company with declining sales and earnings per share would warrant a lower value.

Dillon notes Kimberly-Clark will benefit in 2003 and 2004 from a potentially lower US$, and expected higher pulp prices.

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