J.P. Morgan Upgrades AdvancePCS to 'Overweight'

Analyst Lisa Gill says she's confident of future growth for the pharmacy benefit company

J.P. Morgan upgraded AdvancePCS (ADVP ) to overweight from neutral.

Analyst Lisa Gill says the company's $0.43 earnings per share beat her estimate of $0.38. She notes the 52% rise in mail claims, increased generic dispensing rates and continued growth in the specialty distribution business.

Gill says she's confident of future growth, citing the addition of six million covered lives, expected 50%+ mail growth in 2003, and continued penetration of a specialty pharmacy offering within its existing customer network. Gill says the current historically low valuation doesn't reflect strong business fundamentals. She raised the $1.57 fiscal 2003 (March) earnings per share estimate to $1.68.

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