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First Albany Upgrades Interpore to 'Strong Buy'

First Albany upgraded Interpore International (BONZ) to strong buy from buy.

Analyst William Plovanic says channel checks into Interpore's sales of bone biologics gives him confidence that his turnaround timetable for this segment is on track. Also, better visibility into Interpore's vertebral injection business (Interpore acquired medical-device maker American Osteomedix Corp. in July 2001) strengthens his belief that a turnaround in this segment is real and imminent.

Plovanic raised his $74.9 million 2003 revenue estimate to $75.9 million, and raised the $94 million 2004 estimate to $98 million to reflect a higher forecast for the American Osteomedix business. He raised the $13.50 target to $14.75, and notes the stock at its current price has more than 50% upside potential to reach his target. He's keeping his 36 cents earnings per share estimate for 2003, and the 55 cents earnings per share estimate for 2004.

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