Markets & Finance

Analyst Actions: Microsoft, Baidu.com, Progenics


From Standard & Poor's Equity ResearchPACIFIC CREST KEEPS OUTPERFORM ON MICROSOFT, TRIMS REVEN8E ESTIMATE

Pacific Crest analyst Brendan Barnicle says Microsoft's (MSFT) $14.45 billion third quarter revenue below consensus of $14.49 billion, well below whisper number. He says largest shortfall was in Client revenue, missing by over $300 million.

Barnicle adds that hte most recent NPD data, which track U.S. retail PC sales, shows that Microsoft units increased by 4% while overall units increased by 11%; Apple (AAPL) contributed most of growth in U.S. retail market. He believes the data demonstrate trend that might explain Microsoft's disappointing Client revenue. He says he's a bit skeptical of Microsoft's explanations for its Client revenue shortfall, and of snapback in Client revenue company projects for the fourth quarter.

He trims fiscal year 2008 (June) total revenue view to $60.27 billion from $60.69 billion; he keeps EPS at $1.89. He keeps $42 price target.

CITIGROUP UPGRADES BAIDU.COM TO BUY FROM HOLD

Citigroup analyst Jason Brueschke says Baidu.com's (BIDU) $81.9 million first quarter revenue and $0.67 EPADS topped his and Street estimates; as did $111-$114 million second quarter revenue guidance.

He notes the company benefited in the first quarter from conservative guidance, effects of an early Chinese New Year, and the bringing of key sales regions in-house. He says, equally important, was although BIDU guided to 2008 profit and loss impact of $20-$25 million for Japan, plus $5-$7 million (his estimate) spending on consumer to consumer e-commerce, only $4.3 million was spent in the first quarter 2008 -- far below implied pro-rata spending. He expects BIDU will continue to under-spend, further cushioning earnings in 2008.

Brueschke raises $3.80 2008 EPADS estimate to $4.07, $6.82 2009 EPS to $6.87 and $350 price target to $415.

CITIGROUP UPGRADES PROGENICS PHARMACEUTICALS TO HOLD FROM SELL

Progenics Pharmaceuticals (PGNX) gets FDA approval for Relistor (methylnaltrexone bromide) subcutaneous injection for the treatment of opioid-induced constipation (OIC) in patients with advanced illness who are receiving palliative care, when response to laxative therapy has not been sufficient. Citigroup analyst Yaron Werber tells salesforce he wasn't expecting FDA approval, so today's news is a pleasant surprise and marks an important victory for Progenics. He notes Progenics received a broad label approval for Relistor in advanced medical illness, without restrictions on treatment duration.

Werber revises his estimates to project meaningful profitability in 2011. For that year, projects diluted, pro forma, fully taxed EPS of $0.59, which leads to a new target price of $13 (vs. $4 previously, which was based on 2009 cash value).

He notes he remains cautious about the outlook of the company's MNTX drug in post-operative ileus and has little visibility into the oral formulation for chronic pain.


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