Profit expectations lowered

Esprit Asia Recommendation: Hold Brokerage: Salomon Brothers THE brokerage has downgraded its recommendation on Esprit Asia to a hold in expectation of disappointing full-year profit results to June 1995. It has lowered its profit projections for 1995 from $164 million to $150 million and for 1996 from $201 million to $180 million.

Hongkong & China Gas Recommendation: Hold Brokerage: Salomon Brothers HONGKONG & China Gas refutes claims in a Consumer Council report that it gained unfair advantage from its monopoly. The matter is now in the hands of the Government's economic services division, which will review the report over the next six months and consider possible action.

Although the brokerage agrees with many of the company's arguments, especially those questioning the feasibility of the Consumer Council's recommendations, Salomon has taken the firm off its recommended buy list and now rates it as a hold.

Legend Holdings Recommendation: Buy Brokerage: Salomon Brothers LEGEND'S fiscal 1995 net earnings of $86.1 million are in line with the brokerage's expectation of $88.8 million, representing growth of 29.4 per cent over fiscal 1994's net profit before exceptional items of about $67 million.

The brokerage is maintaining its recommendation as a result of the company's undemanding multiples and it remains cautiously optimistic about the sales of computers and related components in China.