) to strong buy from market perform.
On Friday Andrx settled a patent dispute with Pfizer and Alza Corp. over diabetes drug Glucotrol XL. Analyst Michael Krensavage tied his upgrade to a pact that should allow Andrx to launch a generic version of Glucotrol XL, which he thinks will reach the market in January. Also, he upgraded on the assumption that Andrx will start getting contribution from its generic version of antidepressant Wellbutrin SR early in 2004.
Krensavage upped the 75 cents 2004 earnings per share estimate to $1.21, which assumes 68 cents earnings per share from these two drugs, offset partly by an expected rise in competition for the generic version of Prilosec, from which Andrx receives royalties.