Pepsi Upgraded To Neutral From Positive At Susquehanna

By Caitlin Huston Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of PepsiCo Inc. were up 1.3% midday Wednesday after the stock was upgraded to neutral from positive at Susquehanna on the thesis that it will be the target of a joint buyout bid from Kraft-Heinz and Anheuser-Busch . The Pepsi brand has been troubled by a controversial Kendall Jenner commercial, which it later pulled, as well as a new, alternative low calorie cola and flip-flopping on aspartame-sweetened drinks, said Pablo Zuanic, lead analyst on the report. "All paint a picture of a company still struggling to set a new direction," he wrote. He increased the price target to $132 to $118. Shares of Pepsi have gained 3% in the past month, while the S&P 500 has lost 1%.

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