FT: Pilkington lower, Goldman downgrades on poor earnings climate

Shares in Pilkington PLC lost ground in weak midmorning trade, in the wake of a ratings downgrade from Goldman Sachs, which blamed a deteriorating earnings climate for their move, dealers said.

The US broker downgraded Pilkington - glassmaker to the automotive and building products industries - to 'market underperformer' from 'market perform'. However, it retained its 12-18 month price target of 85 pence on Pilkington.

Goldman says Pilkington is vulnerable to slumping consumer sentiment, and the consequential squeeze on volumes, due to its exposure to the automotive and residential construction sectors.

This will also be pressure on glass prices and Pilkington's margins, it added.

Even more worrying for Pilkington, the broker recommends its clients switch to Lafarge Corp, on which it has a price objective of 129 eur.
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