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CIBC Repeats Underperform on Chiron

Chiron (CHIR) reported strong Q3 EPS but lowered growth estimates. CIBC reiterated its underperform rating on the shares.

Analyst Matt Geller says Chiron's $0.46 Q3 EPS resulted from strong sales of flu vaccines, but growth prospects remain weak. He says the company will discontinue 3 development projects: SILCAAT, an HIV treatment; HBV-MF59, an immunotherapy treatment for chronic HBV; and its PA-1806 program for treatment of infections tied to cystic fibrosis. Geller notes that Chiron lowered its 25% 200304 average annual growth rate estimate to 20%. He raised his $1.15 2002 EPS estimate to $1.19 to account for the strong Q3, but leaves his $1.44 2003 forecast unchanged.

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