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Merrill Lynch named MedImmune (MEDI
) as the Focus One stock of the week, and reiterates its near-term and long-term buy rating.
Analyst Eric Hecht says the company's Synagis continues to do well; he expects worldwide Synagis sales to grow 15%-20% over the next three years, providing a strong contribution to his 30%-35% underlying earnings per share growth rate assumption.
Hecht says he's confident that FluMist will receive FDA approval and be launched in time for the 2002-2003 flu season; he sees the potential for MedImmune to achieve $750 million to $1 billion in peak sales.
He notes the pipeline remains strong, with five products in the late stages of development. Hecht says on a price-earnings-to-growht basis, MedImmune currently is the least expensive stock in his universe. He has a $70 12-month target.