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First Albany Upgrades Trimeris to Buy


First Albany upgraded Trimeris (TRMS) to buy from neutral.

Analyst David Webber says he based his upgrade on signs of fundamental improvement. He says the $24 million in first-quarter worldwide sales of anti-AIDS drug Fuzeon beat his $21 million estimate. Webber says while problems that undercut Fuzeon's launch in 2003 (price, self-injection, injection-site reactions, and regimen) remain, it appears that the drug's ability to reduce the viral load in patients failing other antiretroviral therapy may be starting to pay off. He also notes Trimeris' diligent marketing efforts.

Webber upped the $110 million 2004 worldwide Fuzeon sales estimate to $121 million, and narrowed the $2.60 2004 loss estimate to a $2.13 loss. He thinks the stock may have reached bottom. He has an $18 target.


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