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Gen-Probe (GPRO) Downgraded To 'Sector Perform' By RBC, PT Raised To $82.75

 May 01, 2012 01:05 PM

(By Balachander) Gen-Probe Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRO) shares were downgraded to "Sector Perform" from "Outperform" by RBC Capital Markets, which raised price target on the stock to $82.75 from $72.00.

The brokerage is of the view that Gen-Probe shares are fairly valued in light of the announcement that Hologic (NASDAQ: HOLX) will by the company for $82.75 per share.

"Given the EV of about 17x 2013 EPS, and widespread reports of the company running an unsuccessful sales process last spring, we do not anticipate any higher bids for the stock," RBC analyst Bill Bonello wrote in a note.

[Related -Hologic Inc. (HOLX) Q3 Earnings Preview: New, Old Management With A New Tone?]

Gen-Probe provides molecular tests and instruments, with a focus on products to detect sexually transmitted diseases (primarily Chlamydia and Gonorrhea) and screen donated blood.

RBC raised 2012 EPS estimate for the company to $2.65 from $2.60 and revenue estimate to $645 million from $642 million.

The brokerage said risks to its price target include any meaningful delays in new product launches, market share losses, unforeseen changes to the regulatory environment, and the potential that a sale of the company does not transpire for unknown reasons.

The stock, which has been trading in the 52-week range between $53.92 and $86.96, edged 0.06 percent lower to trade at $81.50 on Tuesday.

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