) to buy from hold.
Analyst Jennifer Chao says her upgrade is based on valuation and increased confidence the company could sell a minimum of 35 million Fluvirin doses in the upcoming 2005-2006 flu season.
She believes Chiron may provide an incremental update with respect to its Liverpool manufacturing facility suspension by the fourth quarter (Jan. 26) earnings conference call. Chao says based on recent talks with regulatory experts, she believes odds strongly favor a resolution to Liverpool's suspension concerns by late first-quarter 2005/early 2005, in time for meaningful participation in the 2005-2006 flu season.
She raises her 12-month target to $42, 18 times $2.34 2006 earnings per share estimate.