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Dufry: Oddo upgrades stock

(CercleFinance.com) - On Friday, broker Oddo upgraded its rating on Dufry from "reduce" to "neutral," after activist hedge fund Elliott took close to a 6% stake in the Swiss travel retailer.

The French broker cites a "more balanced risk profile," with Elliott's interest limiting Chinese conglomerate HNA stake overhang, in a twist that Oddo considers as a "relief."

"However, we struggle to see near term catalysts as fundamental issues remain," the broker writes in a research report sent to clients.

Regarding the planned IPO of Dufry's US unit Hudson, Oddo highlights an "opportunistic" project, but says it would create little shareholder value, and also expresses doubts about Dufry's current operating margins.

Oddo has a target price of 144 Swiss francs for the stock.

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