Salomon Ups Procter & Gamble Estimates

The consumer products company said quarterly earnings would exceed guidance

Salomon Smith Barney raises its estimates and the price target on Procter & Gamble (PG ).

Analyst Wendy Nicholson says she now expects volumes to increase 9%, and sees sales increasing by 4%. She notes better than expected top-line growth was driven by the company's Clairol acquisition (acquired in November 2001) as well as growth in Procter & Gambles's health care, and fabric and home care businesses.

Owing to P&G's cost savings initiatives, Nicholson expects fiscal 2002 gross margins and operating margins to expand 100 basis points and 150 basis points, respectively. She raised the $0.80 Q3 EPS estimate to $0.82, upped the $3.48 fiscal 2002 (June) estimate to $3.50, and raised the $3.76 fiscal 2003 estimate to $3.83. Nicholson rates P&G as a buy, and raised her price target to $95.

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