BofA Downgrades Watson Pharma

Analyst David Maris believes the negative pricing environment and competitive threats to Watson's Oxytrol make for more challenges ahead

Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI ) lowered its outlook. Banc Of America downgraded the shares to neutral from buy.

Analyst David Maris says the company's second-quarter earnings per share outlook of 39 cents to 41 cents is significantly lower than his 51-cent estimate. The shortfall was attributed principally to weakness in Watson's women's health business and Oxytrol sales. Maris says he had warned about the negative pricing environment as well as threat to Oxytrol from recently approved Sanctura. He believes both of these issues make for more challenges ahead. The analyst also believes these uncertainties will be a challenge to manage, and with his patience worn thin, he downgraded the shares. Maris lowered his 2004 and 2005 EPS estimates to $1.74 and $2.00, respectively. He slashed his $46.50 price target to $24.

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