NEW YORK — Tosio Negami has been namedchairman and chief executive officer of Shiseido Cosmetics (America) Ltd., succeeding Hiroshi Maruyama who has been appointed to a post in Tokyo.

Maruyamawill assume the position of deputy general manager of the salon business planning department, professional business operations division of Shiseido Co., Ltd., at the home office.

Meanwhile in New York, Negami will direct the Shiseido business in the U.S., with a particular focus on building a strong American presence and continuing to push the Shiseido-owned prestige brand, Clé de Peau Beauté, to the next level.

In a statement, Negami said he intends to fortify Shiseido’s position “while focusing on the future of the brand.” Heidi Manheimer, president of U.S. operations, Shiseido Cosmetics America, will report directly to Negami.

Negami has been with Shiseido for22 years. His most recent position wasdeputy general manager of the corporate planning department of Shiseido Co., Ltd. in Tokyo. Negami was responsible for strategic and financial planning for the company and its subsidiaries, developing new business opportunities, and executing strategic corporate projects.

Estée Lauder Upgraded

NEW YORK — Estée Lauder Cos. got a gift from Banc of America in honor of its strong performance. Analyst William Steele upgraded the beauty giant to “buy” from “neutral” and raised his price target on Lauder shares to $39 from $33.

Steele said in a research note that he upgraded Lauder based on solid business prospects and a compelling valuation, noting it has consistently been delivering earnings per share targets and achieving top-line trends that are among the strongest in the sector.

Concurrent with its Lauder upgrade, Steele raised his view of the cosmetics, household and personal care products sector to “overweight” from “marketweight.”

“[Lauder] boasts core brands such as Estée Lauder, Clinique and MAC Cosmetics, which maintain dominant market shares in attractive, fast-growing categories,” he wrote. For example, Steele said in 2002, those three brands dominated a combined 51 percent share of the prestige makeup category, while Clinique and Lauder were the top two names in skin care, with shares of 26.1 percent and 19.8 percent, respectively.In addition, he said the product pipeline for 2004 looks strong, with its recent introduction of Beyond Paradise, which industry sources project could generate $60 million within its first year, and Aramis Life, which will roll out in the fourth quarter.

The analyst forecast the company to grow sales by 7 percent in 2004, driven by investment behind the brands, new product introductions and continued strength in balance sheet trends.

Lauder shares closed up 21 cents, or 0.6 percent, to finish at $33.95 in Wednesday’s New York Stock Exchange session.

— Jennifer Weitzman

Exercising Options

Meanwhile, Lauder chairman Leonard Lauder made more than $824,000, before taxes and fees, by exercising stock options Monday and Tuesday. According to a filing released by the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday, Lauder purchased 40,000 options, at a strike price of $13, for a total of $520,000, and then sold them in a series of transactions at an average of $33.61, totalling more than $1.3 million. The options, granted in 1999, were set to expire in 2005. After exercising the options, Lauder directly held 5,369,169 shares of Class A common stock.

— Dan Burrows

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