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Roth Upgrades Salix Pharmaceuticals to Strong Buy

Roth Capital upgraded Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP) to strong buy from buy.

Analyst Mark Taylor says Xifaxan approval is a transforming event for the company. Its unique, non-absorbable antibiotic fits perfectly into the bag in the gastroenterology group and other targeted subspecialties. He sees 2008 Xifaxan sales of $186 million, total company sales of $328 million, and EPS of $3.30.

Taylor notes gastroenterologists and others want this drug for gut-specific gastrointestinal infections. The compelling prophylaxis data in travelers' diarrhea may lead to paradigm shifts in the role of antibiotics, not only in travel medicine but other large gastroenterology drug markets like irritable bowel syndrome. He maintains the $38 target.

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