DB Alex Brown Cuts Noven Pharmaceutical to 'Buy'

The drug maker lowered guidance amid sharply lower orders, and Analyst David Steinberg downgraded due to lack of visibility

DB Alex Brown downgraded Noven Pharmaceutical (NOVN ) to buy from strong buy.

Analyst David Steinberg says due to significantly lower international orders from partner Novartis AG for Estalis and Estradot, management expects $0.40-$0.45 2001 EPS. He notes no guidance is given for 2002. As a result, he cut the $0.68 2001 EPS estimate to $0.45, and trimmed the $0.95 2002 estimate to $0.68. Steinberg also cut the $1.05 2003 estimate to $0.95. Steinberg downgraded due to lack of visibility. However, the analyst says his best guess is that Novartis will market these products in Europe, just not as quickly as hoped. In light of this new development, Steinberg ascribes net present value at $23 a share.

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