Robertson Stephens Daily Growth Stock Update on EFX DURA MEDI


  SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by 
Robertson Stephens, a member of the National Association of Securities 
Dealers, CRD number 41271:  

      Rating Changes 
      Equifax Inc.  (NYSE: EFX) ($26.69) 
    F2001 EPS:  $1.95 from $2.00 
    Market Performer from Long-Term Attractive 
    Andrew Jeffrey, eProcessing/ePayments 

"We are lowering our rating on Equifax and reducing our 2001 earnings-per- 
share and revenue estimates," said Jeffrey.  "The company announced yesterday 
its intention to separate the company along its internal business lines, 
spinning off its Payment Services operations from its core Information 
Services franchise.  While it is our view that the company's explanation for 
proposing the spin-off is somewhat reasonable, we fail to see how this action 
will bolster shareholder value.  Our new estimates and rating reflect this 

      Estimate Changes 
      Dura Pharmaceuticals  (Nasdaq: DURA) ($38.25) 
    2001 EPS:  $0.83 from $0.91 
    Long-Term Attractive 
    Robert Hazlett, Large Capitalization/Specialty Pharmaceuticals 

"Yesterday, Dura announced that it signed an exclusive U.S. distribution 
agreement with Glaxo Wellcome for its dermatology product line," said Hazlett. 
"Under the terms of the agreement, Glaxo will be responsible for manufacture 
and supply of the products, and Dura will make undisclosed payments in 2001 
and 2002 to Glaxo.  At the end of 2002, Dura will be able to exercise an 
option to purchase the products outright from Glaxo.  Dura indicated that it 
intends to deploy a 60-person specialty dermatology sales force by year-end. 
We believe that this focused promotional effort for these drugs, particularly 
given the relatively small number of physicians responsible for the majority 
of dermatology prescriptions, as well as the high degree of brand loyalty 
within the dermatology area, should help turn this dermatology business 
around.  In particular, we believe that Cutivate, a low-dose topical steroid, 
may have annual peak sales potential of $50 million.  The company indicated 
that it expects the new products to add roughly $13 million in sales in the 
fourth quarter, and $65 million in 2001. We continue to rate Dura shares Long- 
Term Attractive."  

      MedImmune, Inc.  (Nasdaq: MEDI) ($56.75) 
    2000 EPS:  $0.65 from $0.66 
    2001 EPS:  $0.93 from $0.97 
    Strong Buy 
    Jay Silverman, Biopharmaceuticals 

"We are revising our sales estimates for Synagis to reflect expected 
weakness in the European market," said Silverman.  "Our newly reduced European 
sales estimates for 2000 and 2001 are $68.7 million and $123.1 million, down 
from $101.6 million and $184.4 million, respectively. We reaffirm our 
increasing confidence in Synagis sales growth in the U.S. with upward 
adjustments.  Our newly raised U.S. sales estimates for 2000 and 2001 are 
$412.4 million and $522.0 million, up from $409.4 million and $500.0 million, 
respectively.  After yesterday's sell-off, we believe the weak foreign rollout 
of Synagis is now discounted into MedImmune shares, while the U.S. strength is 
not. Furthermore, with more than 10 compounds/vaccines in various stages of 
development, in our view, MEDI's growth rate will be sustained for the long- 
term. We reiterate our Strong Buy Rating."  

      Abgenix, Inc.  (Nasdaq: ABGX) ($72.13) 
    Strong Buy 
    Jay Silverman, Biopharmaceuticals 

"Abgenix announced that Pfizer filed an IND application with the FDA for a 
XenoMouse-produced monoclonal antibody to be investigated for cancer 
treatment," said Silverman.  "As with other similar XenoMouse deals, Pfizer is 
fully responsible for product development, manufacturing and marketing. 
Abgenix will receive license fees, milestone payments and sales royalties from 
a marketed product.  This long-awaited landmark event marks the first IND to 
be filed from a XenoMouse partnership.  Pfizer's antibody will be the third 
fully human XenoMouse antibody to enter human trials after Abgenix's own ABX- 
IL8 and ABX-EGF.  Many more INDs are anticipated over the next few years from 
Abgenix's 20 or so other XenoMouse partnerships.  With XenoMouse deals 
beginning to generate drug candidates and its own proprietary drug pipeline 
progressing, Abgenix again appears to be on its way to becoming a leader in 
antibodies.  We reiterate our Strong Buy rating."  

      Applied Science and Technology, Inc.  (Nasdaq: ASTX) ($17.25) 
    Long-Term Attractive 
    Sue Billat, Semiconductor Equipment/Foundries 

"MKS Instruments, Inc., announced this morning that it has entered into a 
definitive merger agreement to acquire Applied Science and Technology, Inc. 
(ASTeX) in a pooling of interest transaction," said Billat.  "Under the terms 
of the agreement, each outstanding share of ASTeX common stock will be 
exchanged for 0.7669 newly issued shares of common stock of MKS. Based on 
MKSI's October 2 closing price, the transaction is valued at about $253 
million.  The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2000, 
and is expected to be slightly accretive to earnings-per-share in calendar 
2001.  We believe the transaction brings MKS a complementary product line, and 
ASTeX a more extensive global reach. In our view, the combined entity should 
be able to better leverage its global infrastructure and JIT manufacturing. We 
rate the shares of ASTX Long-Term Attractive."  

      ASM Lithography Holding N.V.  (Nasdaq: ASML) ($29.88) 
    Sue Billat, Semiconductor Equipment/Foundries 

"ASM Lithography announced its intention to buy Silicon Valley Group in a 
stock transaction expected to close in the first half of 2001," said Billat. 
"The real significance of the merger, we believe, is in speeding the 
development of next generation lithography equipment given SVG's technological 
leadership in 157 nm lithography.  We believe the merger allows the combined 
companies to save between $500 million to $1 billion in R&D costs in bringing 
such tools to the market.  We believe the merger is accretive to ASML 
estimates and we plan to revise the numbers once the deal closes in the first 
half of 2001.  For now, we are maintaining our estimates and reiterating a Buy 
on ASML."  

      Brookstone, Inc.  (Nasdaq: BKST) ($14.00) 
    Alexandra DalPan, Multichannel Consumer Hardgoods 

"Brookstone's third quarter sales trends continue to improve sequentially, 
in our view, as new product flows sell well in stores," said DalPan.  "We are 
modestly raising our third and fourth quarter sales projections, while our 
earnings estimates for the second half of 2000 remain unchanged.  With the 
resumption of the top-line momentum, the stock's severe discount to our fiscal 
2000 and 2001 earnings-per-share projections is overdone, in our opinion.  We 
recommend purchase of the shares for patient small cap investors."  

      Coventry Health Care Inc.  (Nasdaq: CVTY) ($15.13) 
    Long-Term Attractive 
    Sheryl Skolnick, eHealth/Health Care Services 

"Coventry announced today that it has closed the WellPath Community 
Healthplans acquisition, a managed care subsidiary of Duke University Health 
System," said Skolnick.  "In addition to acquiring the WellPath members, CVTY 
has entered into a contract provider agreement with Duke to be a third-party 
administrator for Duke's employee managed care plan.  The transaction is 
expected to be neutral to 2000 estimates and accretive to 2001.  Management 
indicated the current MLR trend will not be affected by the acquisition as the 
State Group Account has a lower MLR and the Large Group Accounts have a higher 
MLR.  Our 2000 estimates reflect this transaction.  We are developing our 2001 
estimates at this time.  We maintain our Long-Term Attractive rating on the 

      Intersil Holding Corporation  (Nasdaq: ISIL) ($41.61) 
    Arun Veerappan, Communication Components/Semiconductor Devices 

"We believe that business fundamentals at Intersil remain strong and that 
our estimates for the company remain in good shape," said Veerappan.  "We 
believe that our estimates for the September quarter are in good shape driven 
primarily by its analog and wireless business. We believe the wireless 
business could be doing particularly well, driven by strong demand for the 
company's 802.11b PRISM chipsets for the WLAN market. In addition, we believe 
that Intersil's recently announced CommLink up-converter product for 3G 
basestations demonstrates the company's diversification of its wireless 
business and highlights its growing role as a wireless infrastructure player. 
Overall, we believe Intersil represents a compelling combination as an analog 
and communications IC company that has positioned itself to be a clear 
beneficiary of today's growth in the semiconductor markets.  As such, we 
continue to rate Intersil stock as a Buy."  

      Merck & Co., Inc.  (NYSE: MRK) ($74.00) 
    Market Performer 
    Robert Hazlett, Large Capitalization/Specialty Pharmaceuticals 

Yesterday, Merck announced FDA approval of Fosamax (alendronate) in men," 
said Hazlett.  "This approval was largely expected. Fosamax is already 
approved for treatment and prevention of osteoporosis in women.  Merck 
estimates two million men in the U.S. may have osteoporosis.  Though Fosamax 
is the first drug approved for this condition in males, we do not expect a 
significant pickup in scripts above current trends as a result. Merck's once- 
weekly Fosamax is currently pending at the FDA, and we expect an official 
decision by year-end, or early 2001.  Though this version will be a much 
needed improvement, it remains to be seen if this new version will carry the 
same important hip fracture reduction claim of the once-a-day version."  

      Network Associates  (Nasdaq: NETA) ($23.00) 
    Dane Lewis, Network Systems Storage and Software 

"NETA announced an OEM partnership with Nokia this morning," said Lewis. 
"Nokia has developed an appliance for NETA's WebShield antivirus product by 
bundling NETA's software.  NETA plans to continue to market its E-ppliance 
product in its existing distribution channels and to target verticals such as 
the government and financial services.  We note that only the low-end E- 
ppliance 100 will compete with Nokia's antivirus-only appliance.  We believe 
this is an endorsement of NETA's technology and will help NETA penetrate new 
markets.  Being chosen by Nokia not only endorses NETA's technology, but also 
brings NETA into new markets such as managed service providers and Nokia's 
channel partners, in our view.  We believe this will provide an incremental 
revenue opportunity for NETA. NETA plans to take advantage of Nokia's large 
distribution channel. Valuation is compelling, in our opinion.  At 3.2 times 
fiscal 2001 sales, NETA is trading at a substantial discount to it comps. 
Over the next several quarters, as the company continues to tightly manage its 
balance sheet and receivables, and as the company continues to experience 
growth across all its product lines, we expect increased credibility with 
investors will translate to a valuation multiple at least on par with its 
competitors.  We reiterate our Buy opinion."  

      O2Micro International Limited  (Nasdaq: OIIM) ($13.00) 
    Arun Veerappan, Communication Components/Semiconductor Devices 

"As we have approached the end of the company's first quarter as a public 
entity, we believe our estimates for O2Micro for the September quarter remain 
in good shape," said Veerappan.  "We expect O2Micro to turn in a strong 
quarter with sequential growth in both its sales and earnings and with the 
potential for some upside possibility to our estimates as well.  In regard to 
the outlook beyond the September quarter, we believe the company is well 
positioned to grow revenues steadily sequentially over the next couple of 
quarters and that its design-win momentum could be accelerating."  

      Portal Software, Inc.  (Nasdaq: PRSF) ($33.94) 
    Marianne Wolk, Wireless Data/eCommunications 

"Portal has expanded its relationship with Worldcom's UUNET, signing a 
contract to provide the Infranet billing platform to UUNET's North American 
sites," said Wolk.  "We believe this is an important strategic move as the 
deal should significantly increase the number of UUNET subscribers supported. 
In addition, we believe the expanded relationship with UUNET represents an 
excellent strategic win for Portal among large-scale carriers, providing 
further evidence of its ability to scale."  

      Primus Knowledge Solutions, Inc.  (Nasdaq: PKSI) ($10.88) 
    Alex Baluta, Internet & eCommerce Applications 

"Primus announced after market close Monday that it anticipates revenue 
and earnings in the third quarter to be below Street expectations," said 
Baluta.  "The company suggested that the reason for the shortfall was due to 
the delay in follow-on orders from existing customers and a slowdown in 
closing transactions internationally in Europe and Japan.  We are lowering our 
third quarter estimates to revenues of $10.1 million and a loss of $(0.37) 
from $14.4 and $(0.12), respectively.  We are also reducing our fourth quarter 
estimates to $13 million and a loss of $(0.22) from our prior revenue estimate 
of $16.5 million and $(0.06), respectively.  We believe many of the smaller 
eCRM companies are experiencing a difficult third quarter, because customer 
buying decisions are becoming strategic as opposed to reactionary, and are 
creating a longer sales cycle.  We further believe that the eCRM space, 
currently full of point solutions, will likely undergo a phase of 
consolidation as some vendors make efforts to offer comprehensive eCRM suites. 
In our view, Primus offers a strong stand-alone knowledge base and eService 
solution, one that would also be a strong component piece of a broader eCRM 
suite. On a positive note, the company completed its short search for a CFO 
with the addition of Ronald Stevens.  We believe the CFO transition over 
recent months has had a minimal impact on the operations of the company, and 
that Stevens' experience in this role at OnHealth Network Co. will be positive 
for the company." , Inc.  (Nasdaq: PPRO) ($80.50) 
    Eric Upin, Business-to-Business eCommerce 

"We expect another very strong quarter from PurchasePro when it reports 
fiscal third quarter results on October 19, with the potential for significant 
upside on the top and bottom line," said Upin.  "We believe the September 
quarter is in excellent shape and that the company has the potential to 
significantly exceed our published estimates, with a revenue number in the 
high teens and possibly as high as the low 20s. In addition, we think 
PurchasePro is likely to beat our operating earnings-per-share estimate 
significantly, in part, because only a portion of the sales and marketing 
expense we modeled in connection with the AOL deal is likely to hit this 
quarter. Yesterday, PurchasePro announced a strategic alliance with Gateway, 
where the companies plan to jointly develop three global marketplaces, 
allowing Gateway clients to interact with the over 30,000 businesses and 200 
private-label marketplaces on the PurchasePro  network. We view the Gateway 
alliance as well as the partnership struck with Computer Associates in 
September as powerful signs of an increasingly focused and effective indirect 
channel strategy.  Overall, the company has accomplished a great deal in the 
last 12 months, characterized by very strong financial metrics, sharper 
strategic focus, and a deepening of several key partnerships.  PurchasePro 
continues to show signs of gaining market acceptance for their mid-market 
solutions and developing key channel partnerships. Yet, with the stock's 
recent run-up and with a narrowing of the valuation gap between PurchasePro 
and other signature B2B names in recent weeks, we believe some of the near- 
term upside may already be in the stock. With expected upside this quarter and 
likely upward revisions of our model to come, however, we remain positive on 
the company's outlook and growth prospects. As a result, we continue to rate 
the shares of PPRO a Buy."  

      Radiant Systems, Inc.  (Nasdaq: RADS) ($25.38) 
    Andrew Jeffrey, eProcessing/ePayment 

"Radiant Systems announced yesterday a partnership with Tricon Global 
Restaurants, Inc. to implement Radiant's hosted management information system, 
WAVE," said Jeffrey.  "We believe this agreement represents approximately $50 
million in life-of-contract revenues with the potential to contribute much 
more as Radiant penetrates Tricon's franchisees.  We reiterate our Buy rating 
on RADS and believe the stock should trade toward $30 in the near term and at 
least to $40 over the next 12 months.  We continue to recommend purchase of 
RADS and believe that the stock's valuation is very compelling, today."  

      Read-Rite Corporation  (Nasdaq: RDRT) ($10.81) 
    Long-Term Attractive 
    Dane Lewis, Network Systems Storage and Software 

"Read-Rite announced that it plans to reduce its debt position by 
approximately $200 million by exercising its automatic conversion right for 
its 10 percent convertible subordinated notes due September, 2004," said 
Lewis. "We believe this move is a significant positive for RDRT, giving the 
company a healthier balance sheet by reducing debt.  At a strike price of 
$4.51, the notes convert to approximately 43 million shares of common stock, 
which will be added to RDRT's current 57 million shares outstanding. This 
should have a dilutive effect on earnings-per-share for profitable quarters. 
Based on the company's recent success with the 20GB product iteration, we 
believe RDRT may be profitable in the December 2000 quarter.  However, based 
on the large short position, which we expect to increase as the conversion 
date nears, we believe the dilution will be largely priced into the stock. 
RDRT's entrance into the Optical Filter business looks promising.  RDRT has a 
dedicated team of people looking into the possibility of working on dense wave 
division multiplexing (DWDM) for the fiber optic component market.  We believe 
RDRT will outline its business strategy for this market in the next few months 
and we foresee product prototypes being available in the first half of 
calendar 2001."  

      Tanox, Inc.  (Nasdaq: TNOX) ($35.13) 
    Jay Silverman, Biopharmaceuticals 

"Xolair (E25), Tanox's lead compound, is near commercialization with its 
BLA accepted for FDA review in September," said Silverman. "Xolair, an anti- 
IgE monoclonal antibody, is a novel drug for treating and preventing allergic 
rhinitis and allergic asthma. Partnered with Genentech and Novartis, Xolair 
produced impressive results from completed Phase III clinical trials. FDA 
approval may be achieved as early as the first quarter of 2001.  In our 
opinion, Xolair has blockbuster potential given its efficacy and substantial 
market size. We estimate that global sales will begin in 2001 at $101 million, 
break $1 billion in 2003 and approach $2 billion by 2005.  Enrollment in a 
Phase IIIb Xolair study should resume in a few weeks. Enrollment for this 
trial was placed on temporary hold last month. Two monkeys died in a 
preclinical study on E26, a second generation anti-IgE antibody, after 
receiving doses up to 27 times the human dose.  In our view, this event should 
not affect the FDA's review of Xolair.  We reiterate our Buy rating on the 
shares and our 12-month price target of $46 per share."  
  Unless otherwise noted, prices are as of Monday, October 2, 2000  
  Robertson Stephens maintains a market in the shares of Dura 
Pharmaceuticals, MedImmune, Abgenix, Applied Science and Technology, ASM 
Lithography, Brookstone, Coventry Health Care, Intersil, Network Associates, 
O2Micro, Portal Software, Primus Knowledge Solutions,, Radiant 
Systems, Read-Rite Corp., and Tanox and has been a managing or comanaging 
underwriter for or has privately placed securities of Abgenix, Applied Science 
and Technology, Intersil, O2Micro, Portal Software, Primus Knowledge 
Solutions,, and Read-Rite Corp.,within the past three years.  
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SOURCE  Robertson Stephens  

    -0-                             10/03/2000 
    /CONTACT:  Elizabeth Denton, 212-407-0470; for Robertson Stephens/ 
    /Web site: 

CO:  Robertson Stephens; Equifax Inc.; Dura Pharmaceuticals; MedImmune, Inc.;  

     Abgenix, Inc.; Applied Science and Technology, Inc.; ASM Lithography 
     Holding N.V.; Brookstone, Inc.; Coventry Health Care Inc.; Intersil 
     Holding Corporation; Merck & Co., Inc.; Network Associates; O2Micro 
     International Limited; Portal Software, Inc.; Primus Knowledge Solutions, 
     Inc.;, Inc.; Radiant Systems, Inc.; Read-Rite Corporation 

 Tanox, Inc. 
ST:  California 
-0- Oct/03/2000 16:01 GMT 
EOS   (PRN)    Oct/03/2000    12:01       85 
-0- (PRN) Oct/03/2000 16:16 GMT
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