Thomas Weisel upgraded Harvard Bioscience (HBIO) to outperform from peer perform.
Analyst Paul Knight says the upgrade is based on: Strong second-quarter operating performance, vs. previous periods; a string of successful acquisition consolidations (Genomic Solutions, Gene Machines, and BioRobotics) that are expanding margins; and, potential growth benefit from improved pharmaceutical demand.
Knight notes second-quarter results marked the best performance in more than a year. He thinks Harvard Bioscience's position in the pharmceutical industry (65% exposure) leverages its business model to benefit from a spending up cycle that's driven by the conclusion of the Pfizer/Pharmacia consolidation. Knight sees 25 cents 2003 earnings per share, 30 cents per share for 2004, and 40 cents per share for 2005.