Procter & Gamble's Stock Drops After Analyst Cuts Rating, Price Target

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Procter & Gamble Co. fell 0.8% in premarket trade Monday, after the consumer products giant was downgraded at B. Riley, which cited concerns over rising valuation as fundamentals have weakened. Analyst Linda Bolton Weiser cut her rating to neutral, after being at buy for the past seven months. She slashed her stock price target to $91, which was just 0.6% above Friday's closing price of $90.50, from $106. Weiser said that while the stock has rallied 11% since Dec. 1, global category growth has slowed to about 2% from about 3%, and the company's plan for double-digit percentage price cuts in blades and razors is slated to begin in the June quarter. "The slowdown in consumption growth (in markets like China, U.S., U.K.) has caused retailers to reduce inventory, impacting PG's sales growth," Weiser wrote in a note to clients. The stock has gained 8.4% over the past 12 months, while the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF has advanced 6% and the S&P 500 has run up 19%.

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