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UBS Ups Vertex Pharmaceuticals to Buy

From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

UBS Financial upgraded Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) to buy from neutral, noting valuation and expectations for an active fourth quarter.

Analyst Annabel Samimy expects to see the release of critical long-term safety data in the fourth quarter, the first 12-week look at VX-950 combination therapy. She says that while long term safety remains a concern, she's relatively confident that the 12-week data will produce consistently promising efficacy results. She believes that at the present stock price, the market has incorporated an adequate risk premium, given VX-950's stage of development and unanswered questions to date. She maintains $2.13 2006 earnings per share loss and a $2.23 2007 EPS loss estimates, as well as a $42 stock price target.

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