Pro Analysis

Kimberly-Clark shares downgraded because Huggies is in a diaper pricing war

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Societe Generale lowered its rating for Kimberly-Clark shares to hold from buy, citing the likelihood of more discounting by its industry peers and weak trends in China.

"Price competition looks to be picking up in US diaper as P&G is becoming more aggressive with its mid-tier Luvs brand. Competition in Brazil and China remains tough," analyst Iain Simpson wrote in a note to clients Thursday. "While cost-cutting should continue to drive margin expansion and cash returns remain robust, valuation now looks up to speed with fundamentals."

The company's household product brands include Kleenex, Huggies, Cottonelle, Scott and Depend.