Merrill Lynch Names MedImmune as Focus One Stock of the Week

Analyst Eric Hecht says sales of the drug maker's key treatments will strongly contribute to his earnings growth rate projections

Merrill Lynch named MedImmune (MEDI ) as the Focus One stock of the week, and reiterates its near-term and long-term buy rating.

Analyst Eric Hecht says the company's Synagis continues to do well; he expects worldwide Synagis sales to grow 15%-20% over the next three years, providing a strong contribution to his 30%-35% underlying earnings per share growth rate assumption.

Hecht says he's confident that FluMist will receive FDA approval and be launched in time for the 2002-2003 flu season; he sees the potential for MedImmune to achieve $750 million to $1 billion in peak sales.

He notes the pipeline remains strong, with five products in the late stages of development. Hecht says on a price-earnings-to-growht basis, MedImmune currently is the least expensive stock in his universe. He has a $70 12-month target.

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