Goldman Sachs upgraded Schering-Plough (SGP
) to in-line from underperform, citing factors such as the healthcare company's business making drugs to treat cholesterol.
Analyst James Kelly notes that cholesterol prescriptions were strong in early 2006; he raises his $3.4 billion 2006 cholesterol franchise revenue estimate to $3.8 billion. He says the risks in the cholesterol market (notably generic Zocor) highlight the importance of diversifying business risk through licensing or acquisitions of late stage products. He says shares are expensive at 20 times his 2008 earnings per share (EPS) estimate, but remain among the lowest price/sales in the sector. He raises his 46 cents 2006 EPS estimate to 50 cents and his 66 cents 2007 estimate to 69 cents.