) to outperform from neutral, explaining that recent stock price weakness has created attractive buying opportunity.
Analyst Aaron Geist says that since the company reported a strong quarterly result on Nov. 10, shares have slid from the $22 area. Geist says he recently visited Meridian Bioscience, and came away believing business fundamentals remain sound. He raises his estimates modestly; the net impact is an increase in fiscal year 2006 (ending September) of 4 cents to 67 cents earnings per share and between 3 cents and 76 cents in fiscal year 2007. He believes the company is working to acquire a European microbiology firm with $15 million in annual sales. He believes fiscal year 2006 guidance is conservative, and he recommends a purchase with a $23 target.