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UBS Warburg Downgrades Teva Pharmaceutical

Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) shares fell after UBS Warburg downgraded it to hold from buy.

Analyst Steven Valiquette says he is less confident in the company's 2002 and 2003 organic growth prospects. He says Teva's prescription growth has been declining over the past two quarters, and year-over-year comps were negative in January. He sees a continuation of these trends when the IMS monthly script data is released. He notes the company's 180-day exclusivity on nabumetone ended last week.

The analyst thinks most of the company's premium p-e to the generic group average is due to its branded Copaxone's success; he thinks the premium will erode over the next year with competitor Rebif entering the increasingly saturated market. He sees EPS of $2.40 in 2002 and $2.80 in 2003. He cuts his $70 price target to $56.

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