An FDA panel recommended approval of the drug maker's flu vaccine. Analyst Dennis Harp says he expects FluMist to fuel earnings per share growth in 2003 through 2006. He projects approval in the first half of 2003, prior to the start of the 2003 and 2004 flu season in the third quarter.
Harp says controversy over efficacy in the 50-64 age group could be easily addressed. He notes his near-term earnings estimates don't incorporate approval of this age group. Harp sees $1.04 2003 earnings per share, ahead of the Street's 96 cents estimate. He forecasts 30% earnings per share growth over the next three years, largely driven by FluMist. He has a $49 target.