Downgrading the stock from ‘outperform’ to ‘market perform’, Bernstein analyst Andrew Wood said Nestlé shares may have been bid too high by investors eager to hold a strong company in Swiss Francs. The strength of the local currency has also hit Nestlé by diluting its earnings per share.
In addition, Bernstein has some operational concerns about Nestlé. While sales growth and margins continue to shine, Wood said its view on cash generation had shifted from excellent to “ok/average”. Higher than expected capex was one of the factors behind the new cash view.
“Nestlé is starting to look expensive, and we can no longer bang the table and tell investors to buy the stock,” concluded the analyst.