BMO downgrades Scotts Miracle-Gro

BMO cuts rating for Scotts Miracle-Gro, says market's profit expectations are too high

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- An analyst for BMO Capital Markets on Friday downgraded Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., saying market expectations are too high and shares are likely to drop.

THE OPINION: Connie Maneaty cut Scotts to "Underperform" from "Market Perform."

Maneaty said that the lawn and garden company's profit this year is likelier to be at the low end of the company's predicted range of $2.50 to $2.75 per share because of the cool, wet spring weather in much of the country.

She cut her profit prediction for the fiscal year ending in September by 10 cents to $2.50 per share, while a dozen analysts polled by FactSet expect an average of $2.54 per share.

For next year, Maneaty expects profit of $2.75 per share. Wall Street predicts $2.97 per share, on average.

THE SHARES: Down 93 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $47.72 in afternoon trading. Shares had risen 10 percent in 2013.

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