Santander raises Mexican glass maker Vitro to hold

Santander Central Hispano said Monday it has raised its recommendation on Mexican glass maker Vitro SA (VTO) to 'Hold' from 'Underperform.'The upgrade was based on the stock's new valuation following news that Vitro will divest its Acros-Whirlpool division.

Santander analyst Luis Miranda thinks the stock can sustain its current valuation.

Miranda has also raised his year-end price target for Vitro's American Depositary Receipts, which trade in New York , to $3.40 from $2.70 per share.

These valuations allow for an upside of about 11%, outperforming Santander's expectations for Mexico 's key IPC stock index, which the bank expects to gain 6% this year. Vitro ADRs were trading at $3.02 early Monday.

Miranda expects the Whirlpool deal to be complete by the second quarter of 2002. Santander sees the sale of Vitro's household products division reducing the companies revenues by 20%.

However the bank also expects Vitro to use the proceeds to help reduce its $ 1.65 billion debt load by 14%.

Despite what Santander sees as good news, the bank sees challanges ahead in the company's core glass business, such as pressure from imports.

600450 Santander raises Mexican glass maker Vitro to hold glassonweb.com

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