First Albany Cuts Albany Molecular Rating

Analyst Kevin Berg says the downgrade was based mainly on continuing challenges facing Allegra sales

First Albany downgraded its investment recommendation on Albany Molecular (AMRI ) to underperform from neutral.

Analyst Kevin Berg says the downgrade was based mainly on continuing challenges facing Allegra sales. Based on his recent research, he sees a bumpy road ahead for Allegra. Berg notes that UnitedHealth is moving Allegra to the third-tier of its formulary; companies like Aetna are aggressively acting to promote OTC options; pharmacy benefit managers becoming more proactive offering clients option to allow employees to purchase OTC Claritin with a generic level co-pay. The analyst sees near-term limited growth prospects for the company. He lowered his $1.47 2003 EPS estimate to $1.44. Berg has a $21 price target on the shares.

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