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AG Edwards Ups Bristol-Myers Squibb to Hold

From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

AG Edwards upgraded Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) to hold from sell, after news hit that an injunction blocks Apotex from selling generic Plavix, pending the resolution of patent litigation.

But the judge also ruled that shipped product need not be recalled.

Analyst Albert Rauch no longer thinks Bristol-Myers Squibb will need to cut its dividend. Because the company's shares are mostly trading on the basis of dividend, Rauch thinks downside risk has been diminished. With no recall of Apotex's generic clopidogrel from the marketplace, and an expected supply of generic that could last for the rest of the year, Rauch cuts a $1.10 2006 earnings per share (EPS) estimate to $1.09, but ups a 70 cents 2007 to $1.15 as this supply of generic is depleted.

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