Lanxess AG (LXS), the synthetic-rubber maker that joined Germany’s benchmark DAX index in September, had its longest losing streak for three months after analysts at Citigroup Inc. (C) and Main First Bank AG cut their investment recommendations.
The supplier of compounds to tiremaker Michelin & Cie. dropped as much as 3.6 percent, bringing the stock’s five-day decline to 9.4 percent. A slowdown in the auto industry prompted Citi’s Dominik Frauendienst, Andrew Benson and Evgenia Molotova to lower earnings forecasts for this year and next, and re- ranked Lanxess to sell from hold.
Chief Executive Officer Axel Heitmann predicted a bumpy start to this year, Frankfurt Allgemiene Zeitung reported in December. Lanxess has already said that profit growth in 2012 was at the lower end of its targeted range. Weaker demand for standard rubber left capacity idle, denting third-quarter earnings, with Heitmann predicting the automotive industry would remain weak in the final three months of 2012.
Main First analysts Ronald Koehler and Thomas Swoboda on Jan. 7 cut Lanxess’ rating to underperform from neutral, citing a weak start to the year in the auto trade.
The stock was down 2.3 percent at 61.81 euros as of 10:03 a.m. local time. Lanxess has gained 16 percent in six months, boosting its market value to 5.14 billion euros ($6.72 billion).
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