Bank of America upgraded Guidant (GDT) to buy.
Analyst Kurt Kruger says several factors combine to brighten Guidannt's prospects, including a clear regulatory path to approval of its new congestive heart failure device; improving defibrillator growth trends for the company, overall market; and the speedy trial of its drug eluting stent. Hes says Contak CD (the congestive heart failure device) is a product that was turned down by a panel last July, but may be granted approval as early as the first quarter. Kruger raised his $1.92 2002 EPS estimate to $2.04, and sees $2.25 EPS for 2003. He has a $56 target.