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BB&T Boosts Chattem Estimates

Chattem (CHTT) posted second-quarter earnings per share of 52 cents on a 10% revenue rise. The company sees $1.60 to $1.65 fiscal 2004 earnings per share. BB&T raised estimates on Chattem.

Analyst Andrew Wolf says Chattem's second-quarter earnings per share were well above his 43-cent estimate on better-than-expected revenues (due to very strong sales growth for Icy Hot and Gold Bond). He increased his $1.52 fiscal 2004 EPS estimate to $1.65 and his $1.75 fiscal 2005 forecast to $1.85. Wolf views his estimates as likely conservative. He notes a global settlement for lawsuits relating to PPA with Dexatrim is on track with a July 7 deadline for claims to be filed; it appears that exposure for Chattem will be in line with prior expectations of $20 million to $25 million pretax ($13 million to $16 million after taxes). The analyst reiterates his buy rating, and raised his $28 12-month target price to $32.

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