The rating for Pepsi Bottling Group has been upgraded. Bonnie Herzog, an analyst at Smith Barney, said yesterday that the bottler and distributor's rating has been raised to "buy" from "hold", and the price target on the shares to $35.00 from $28.00.

In a note from 29 February, Herzog said that a recent meeting with the company's management "reminded us of how impressive this bottler is and its excellent execution capability.

"We came away from this trip with increased confidence that this company has the momentum to generate solid pricing and volume growth in 2004," she added.