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Deutsche Bank downgraded Biosite (BSTE
) to hold from buy.
Analyst Bruce Jacobs says his buy rating was predicated on the continuation of sustained revenue growth for Biosite's riage BNP (b-type natriuretic peptide) blood test, as well as Beckman Coutler, and physicians' office laboratory opportunities. While he still expects Beckman Coulter and physicians' office laboratory opportunities to be important contributor in 2004, he admits he misjudged how quickly -- by how much Bayer would impact Biosite's base business.
Jacobs cut the 2003 and 2004 earnings per share estimates to $1.55 and $1.70, respectively. He believes uncertainty as to earnings visibility in 2004 could linger. He also thinks there could be downside in shares to the low $30s.