Markets & Finance

BB&T Capital Cuts Chattem to Hold from Buy

BB&T Capital downgraded Chattem (CHTT) to hold from buy, citing uncertainty about the outlook for the healthcare products maker's business.

Analyst Andrew Wolf cut his $2.37 fiscal year 2006 (ending November) earnings per share (EPS) estimate to $2.20. He noted that the company hasn't yet given any guidance about its options costs. Further, with the stock price up about 35% from its 52-week low in Nov. 2005, he finds the stock valuation "lofty." He notes that 43 cents fourth quarter adjusted EPS was a penny below his and the consensus estimates. He also estimates an extra month of sales from Canadian and European units (vs. the year-ago fourth quarter) that helped fourth quarter revenue rise 5.3%. But when adjusted out, fourth quarter sales rose 3% vs. his 4.2% estimate.

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