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Prudential Upgrades Schering-Plough to 'Buy'

Prudential upgraded Schering-Plough (SGP) to buy.

Analyst Tim Anderson says he sees tremendous growth prospects in 2004, beyond those driven by the newly launched Zetia franchise (cholesterol-lowering drug). He says the next few quarters could be challenging due to an upcoming O-T-C switch of Claritin, as well as new competition to the hepatitis franchise, but he says these moves are widely expected and already factored into the company's 2003 EPS guidance of $1.00-$1.15.

Anderson notes management changes and the looming approval of Asmanex (asthma drug), as well as the speculation of a potential take-over could lend further upside to the story heading into 2003. He sees $1.57 2002 EPS, and $1.04 for 2003. He also raised his $24 target to $26.

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