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Swatch: UBS downgrades buy rating

( - This morning UBS downgraded its buy rating on the stock of the Swiss watchmaker Swatch Group, adopting a "neutral" stance, due to the group's outlook, which it now considers as less favourable.

The broker has also cut its 12-month target price by around 16% from 535 Swiss francs to 450 Swiss francs.

Analysts had returned to buy rating on the stock last year, ahead of an acceleration in growth and a recovery in the group's margins, which now seems largely complete: Swatch now expects double-digit sales growth, while its operating margin has recovered by around 500 basis points. In short, the recovery scenario now seems largely priced in by the market.

Finally, UBS points out that the Swatch share's fall of around 15% since May "suggests the market is already somewhat pricing in risks from Chinese currency devaluation and slowing GDP".

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