Lehman Ups PacifiCare to Buy
Lehman Brothers upgraded its investment rating of managed healthcare company PacifiCare Health (PHSY ) to buy from market perform because Medicare givebacks to HMOs could boost the company's earnings per share. Pacificare stock rose to 23-3/4, up 6-1/2. Analyst Lawrence Marsh said Medicare payments, which are due to be implemented in March 2001, could boost 2001 EPS over $2.00. He noted Pacificare was a huge disappointment in 2000, with 2001 EPS estimates of $8.00 cut to $0.80 since Oct. Marsh sees EPS falling "somewhere in the broad middle."
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