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Banc of America Upgrades InterMune to 'Buy'


Banc of America upgraded InterMune (ITMN) to buy from neutral.

Analyst Michael King says on Monday, InterMune announced that Scott Harkonen resigned as president and CEO. He was replaced on an interim basis by board member William Ringo. King thinks the management change was spurred by the board after a loss in confidence: InterMune lowered the fiscal 2003 guidance for its pulmonary fibrosis treatment Actimmune, and also announced unexpected inventory problems.

King thinks replacing Harkonen is a good start to rebuilding credibility with investors. He thinks the board may be prepping InterMune for a sale, too. A sum-of-the-parts analysis yields a $20 sales price, plus added value for InterMune's marketing and sales infrastructure.


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