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Albany Molecular Falls on Claritin News

Albany Molecular (AMRI) shares fell Friday on news that Schering Plough (SGP) filed to bring its popular allergy drug Claritin to over-the-counter status.

First Albany says the impact on AMRI is hard to quantify. Analyst Kevin Berg tells S&P MarketScope that Schering's filing to take Claritin to OTC status is not a positive for AMRI and will have longer term impact. He estimates that AMRI derived about 69% of its 2001 EPS from royalties received from Aventis' (AVE) Allegra allergy drug. In his model, he estimates royalties at 67% for 2002.

The timing of the news from SGP is surprising; not a common event, Berg says. Still, he is maintaining his buy rating on AMRI shares, noting that he will have to wait for information from AVE on the estimated impact on Allegra sales.

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