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Baird Ups Meridian Bioscience to Outperform from Neutral

Robert W. Baird upgraded Meridian Bioscience (VIVO) to outperform from neutral, explaining that recent stock price weakness has created attractive buying opportunity.

Analyst Aaron Geist says that since the company reported a strong quarterly result on Nov. 10, shares have slid from the $22 area. Geist says he recently visited Meridian Bioscience, and came away believing business fundamentals remain sound. He raises his estimates modestly; the net impact is an increase in fiscal year 2006 (ending September) of 4 cents to 67 cents earnings per share and between 3 cents and 76 cents in fiscal year 2007. He believes the company is working to acquire a European microbiology firm with $15 million in annual sales. He believes fiscal year 2006 guidance is conservative, and he recommends a purchase with a $23 target.

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