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CE Unterberg Ups Noven Pharmaceuticals Outlook

CE Unterberg raised its estimates on Noven Pharmaceuticals (NOVN).

Analyst Kenneth Trbovich says the stock's rise is solely on the back of a licensing agreement with Shire Pharma, not on fourth quarter results. He notes as a result of the Shire deal, the company eliminated the launch and sales costs for methylphenidate transdermal system, resulting in a big earnings boost. He adds that the deal will provide improved commercial prospects, an a $150 million contribution up front. Trbovich is raising his 30 cents 2003 earnings per share estimate, and review his model and short-term avoid rating after a Thursday conference call. He notes fourth quarter performance is slightly above expectations, but the company guided to slower first quarter growth.

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