Two investment banks have downgraded the shares in the US soft drinks producer, Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG).

Credit Suisse First Boston has reduced its rating for the bottler from "outperform" to "neutral", while JP Morgan has cut its rating from "overweight" to "neutral".

Yesterday, PBG confirmed its earnings-per-share guidance for the third quarter of 2003 of US$0.66 to US$0.70.

But the company said it expects EPS to come in at the lower end of the range, reflecting flat volumes in the US and weaker volumes in Mexico. PBG says it expects to finish the quarter with Mexican volumes down by 5%.