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ING Barings Ups MiniMed Rating to Strong Buy

ING Barings upgraded its investment rating on medical device maker MiniMed > (MNMD) to strong buy from buy due to valuation, adding that the stock dropped after a pre-announcement that was already affecting the stock.

Analyst Kevin Kotler said MiniMed can grow its bottom line at about 40% and has a pre-eminent franchise. By applying 1 times to his growth rate forecast, Kotler arrives at a $42 price target. Given the company's dominant position in insulin pumps, he's optimistic about prospects going forward.

Kotler sees fourth quarter earnings per share at $0.17 on sales of $91 million to $92 million. However, he lowered his 2001 and 2002 estimates since the company is focused on getting a product to the market. He cut his EPS to $0.74, from $0.83 for 2001 and cut EPS to $1.04, from $1.18 in 2002.

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