Shares in Carlsberg have been downgraded. US broker Merrill Lynch has cut its recommendation on the brewer's stock to 'neutral' from 'buy,' brokers said today (2 November). Carlsberg will release its third quarter results on Thursday (4 November).

Merrill Lynch also cut full-year clean EPS (earnings-per-share) estimates for this year by 3.8% to DKK16.7, and by 8.7% for 2005 to DKK22.7, reducing the broker's fair value to DKK299 from DKK340.

Although the broker continues to believe that Carlsberg will "be successful in its cost saving and restructuring initiatives", it highlighted tougher current trading than initially estimated, a higher level of reinvested cost savings and higher tax charges expected from 2005.