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Legg Mason Upgrades InterMune to 'Buy'

Legg Mason upgraded InterMune (ITMN) to buy from hold.

Analyst Edward Nash says the 64-cent second-quarter loss is much better than his 84-cent loss forecast. He says interim CEO Bill Ringo appears to have stabilized the business model by reducing operating expenses for the second quarter, according to 2003 guidance. He notes management believes they have better controls over monitoring the wholesaler inventory of Actimmune.

Nash says Actimmune sales for the second quarter were 13% below sales in the first quarter, but 46% greater than Actimmune sales in the second-quarter of 2002. He notes InterMune plans to start a 600-patient trial at 60 sites in Europe and North America in the second half of 2004. Nash raised the $15 target to $24.

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