P&G Stock Down in Afternoon Trading

Both UBS and BMO Capital downgraded Procter and Gamble (NYSE:PG) on Monday resulting in an afternoon sell off. UBS changed the household products giant from outperform to neutral while BMO Capital lowered the stock from outperform to market perform. UBS, BMO Capital, and other analysts also cut P&G‘s fiscal 2012 profit estimates and stock-targeted price.

P&G released a disappointing earnings report on Friday. P&G reduced its June 2012 fiscal earnings outlook to between $4 and $4.10 a share while analysts had expected $4.33 a share. The company said that it lose market share on 13 of its 24 brands. MarketWatch reports that since January 2009 P&G stock, including dividends that are not reinvested, has returned 24% based on current trading prices while the S&P 500 has returned 56% according to FactSet Research data. Not including annual dividend the stock is down 1.6% while the S&P Consumer Staples Index is up 10%.

MarketWatch quoted UBS analyst Nik Modi who wrote a note to his clients Monday that read, “P&G is the company that investors look towards to absorb volatility instead of falling victim to it. From where we sit today, it is hard to see how the next one to two years will [be] any different than the last five.” The company has been affected by a more price conscience consumer due to the depressed economy.

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