STOCKS NEWS INDONESIA-OSK ups Gudang Garam to buy

Mon Aug 6, 2012 1:32am EDT

OSK Research upgraded shares of PT Gudang Garam to 'buy' from 'neutral' and expects the cigarette maker to post strong second-half earnings.

"We expect its 2H12 earnings to improve, spurred by higher selling prices amid an aggressive excise tax hike," OSK analyst Willinoy Sitorus said in a note on Monday.

OSK, however, cut its 2012 earnings forecast for Gudang Garam by 4 percent, citing poor first-half results, and lowered its target price on the stock to 57,000 rupiah from 59,000 rupiah.

Sitorus expects Gudang Garam's 2013 earnings to improve significantly as there is potential for a sales volume increase given the more simplified tax bracket plan, which will hurt the small players.

At 11:51 a.m. (0451 GMT) company's stock was up 1.37 percent at 51,700 rupiah while the broader index was up 0.61 percent.

1153 (0453 GMT) (Reporting by Andjarsari Paramaditha)