UBS Warburg Downgrades Coors to 'Hold'

Analyst Caroline Levy cites sales weakness and increased marketing spending for the maker of beer and specialty beverages

UBS Warburg downgraded Adolph Coors (RKY ) to hold from buy.

Analyst Caroline Levy cites distributor conversations suggesting continuing sales weakness in the U.S., and a substantial increase in marketing and promotional spending in 2003. With the stock well up from recent lows, Levy says she thinks a high projected cost savings in the U.S. and United Kingdom have largely been discounted.

Levy maintains her $4.65 2002 earnings per share estimate, but trimmed the $5.10 2003 earnings per share estimate to $5.00, reflecting higher forecasted marketing and promotional spending in the U.S., as well as lower projected 2003 U.S. volume (sales-to-retail) and lower pricing growth.

She thinks volume and pricing in the United Kingdom will be challenged due to tough comps-store sales. She cut her $82 target to $68.

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