Banc of America Raises Genentech Estimates

Analyst Michael King sees earnings upsside if sales for newly approved cancer drug Avastin are stronger than expectations

Banc of America raised its estimates and target on Genentech (DNA ).

On Thursday the FDA approved Avastin for the treatment of metastatic cancer of the colon or rectum. Analyst Michael King says Avastin received a label for use in combination with I.V.5-FU-based chemotherapy. He says this news is positive, as the drug may be used with either of the typical front-line regimens: Camptosar-based "Saltz," or Elexatin-based "Folfox."

He notes Avastin will be priced at $4,400 a month, which is higher than the previous $2,900 estimate. King says the possibility of stronger than expected sales could lead to upward earnings per share revisions in 2004. King upped the $1.44 2004 earnings per share estimate to $1.45, and raised the $1.80 2005 estimate to $1.96. He has a $137 target.

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