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Merrill Keeps 'Strong Buy' on Pfizer

Merrill Lynch says Pfizer 's (PFE) deal to acquire Pharmacia (PHA) for $60 billion shows "very little overlap."

Analyst Steven Tighe says Pharmacia shareholders will receive 1.4 Pfizer share per Pharmacia share. He says Pfizer will be the leading pharmaceutical maker in every major market in the world after the merger. He notes synergies are currently targeted at $2.5 billion by 2005. He thinks greater synergies may be possible. Tighe says the acquisition will be accretive by $0.06 for 2004. Tighe believes the combined entity will see 10% sales growth through 2004. He sees $1.85 2003 earnings per share for the combined entity, and $2.12 for 2004. He maintains his $39 target and rates Pfizer as strong buy.

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