Valspar Downgraded To Neutral At J.P. Morgan

Valspar Corp. , the global producer of paints and coatings, was downgraded to neutral from overweight at J.P. Morgan after a difficult first-quarter performance and strong volume performance in the same period last year. The bank is lowering its earnings per share estimate for fiscal 2016 to $4.95 from $5.10. J.P. Morgan believes Valspar's revenue will be flat to down for fiscal 2016 versus fiscal 2015, with consolidated sales at about $4.36 billion compared to $4.39 billion. The bank said lower raw material costs could drive paint and coatings selling prices lower, constraining Valspar's margins. And Valspar has been losing share at Lowe's Companies, Inc. , its largest customer. The bank raised the price target to $85 from $83. Valspar is trading above $85. Valspar shares are down 1.3% for the year so far compared with a 1.5% increase for the S&P.

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