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J.P. Morgan Upgrades Guidant to 'Overweight'

J.P. Morgan upgraded Guidant (GDT) to overweight from neutral.

Analyst Michael Weinstein upgraded on the belief that the impact of drug-eluting stents will not prove as damaging to Guidant's near-term earnings as he and the Street had earlier perceived. He thinks the near-term newsflow around Guidant's everolimus drug-eluting stents program is likely to prove positive, offering new catalysts for Guidant over the second half of the year, and furthering its year-to-date outperformance.

Weinstein raised the $2.10 2003 earnings per share estimate to $2.20, and raised the $2.03 2004 estimate to $2.10. He sees $2.25 2005 earnings per share, and set a $2.90 2006 target. He says his upgrade brings the one large-cap cardio stock that was missing from the recommended list to the right side of his ratings page.

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