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Analyst Speculates on Potential Thermo Fisher Acquisition

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Leerink Swann analyst Isaac Ro said in a research report published today that he believes a major acquisition by Thermo Fisher Scientific is "likely in the near term, with possible targets coming in the areas of Bioprocess tools, HPLC, or Diagnostics."

He noted that Thermo's shares have lagged the market recently due to ongoing speculation about a major acquisition for the firm. Ro said that given Thermo's broad distribution channel, the company "could choose any of these areas and recognize material benefits."

However, Ro noted that Waters — which has recently been rumored to be a takeover candidate — is not "an ideal acquisition target" for Thermo.

Ro's comments were part of a first-quarter preview report, in which he said he remains cautious regarding the life science tools group. Among the life science tool firms covered by Leerink Swann, he cited Illumina and Life Technologies as likely to be top performers in the first quarter — and he has an "outperform" rating on both firm's stocks.

"While a soft 1Q reporting season appears to be baked into expectations, we believe the outlook for most of 2009 remains cloudy and that improved NIH funding is unlikely to surface until late 3Q09," wrote Ro.

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