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Deutsche Bank Keeps 'Buy' on Tenet Healthcare

Deutsche Bank maintains its buy rating on Tenet Healthcare (THC)

The company started an internal review of its heart program at Redding Medical Center, and hired a medical audit practice to assist in a review of allegations that two physicians performed unnecessary heart surgery at the center.

Analyst Scott Estes says a recent sell-off is due to concerns over the company's ability to quantify profitability in Medicare outlier payment and reports of MediCal irregularities. He says Tenet is expected to address outlier payment concerns on a conference call this week. Also, with $16 billion in annual revenues, Estes says he thinks any negative outcome from unnecessary procedures would be limited.

Although he expects some volatility in shares in the near term, shares are trading at about nine times the $3.19 calendar 2003 earnings per share estimate, and Estes thinks investors are being fairly compensated at current levels.

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