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BMO downgrades Kimberly-Clark to underperform

The Associated Press

A BMO Capital Markets analyst lowered her rating Friday on Kimberly Clark Corp., saying she doesn't see a reason for investment at its current price.

THE OPINION: Analyst Connie Maneaty cut her rating to "Underperform" from "Market Perform" and said she sees no upside based on its current valuation. The company's stock is trading at this highest price to earnings multiple since 2002 and well above historical averages.

Maneaty said that while investors are clearly willing to pay a premium for Kimberly Clark's dividend and cash generation and for consumer stocks in general, she doesn't believe the company's fundamentals are worth the price for further investment.

The analyst also noted the risk ahead of slightly higher pulp prices, which could impact its paper products costs, and the foreign exchange rates in Korea, which represent about 5 percent of its total revenue.

Maneaty did raise her price target on the stock to $92 from $83 based on trading trend assumptions. The target remains below its stock's current price.

THE STOCK: Shares added 64 cents to $99.11 in afternoon trading. That is near the high end of its 52-week range of $73.33 to $100.