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Citigroup Ups Coca-Cola Enterprises to 'Outperform'


Citigroup upgraded Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) to outperform from in-line.

Analyst Bonnie Herzog sees a buying opportunity presently for four reasons. Firstly, the abnormally hot, dry weather in Western Europe could lead to higher volume and earnings, so she upped the third-quarter earnings per share estimate by a penny, to 46 cents. Secondly, pricing could be stronger than expected in the second half given strong net revenue per case growth generated in the second quarter.

Thirdly, she still believes the unveiling of Pepsi Vanilla could actually aid sales of Vanilla Coke given the increased media spending in this category. Finally, the stock has been weak lately, and its premium to Pepsi Bottling Group has narrowed. Herzog keeps her $24 target.


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