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Bank of America Praises Orchid Biosciences and Begins Covering Firm; Stock Climbs on News

NEW YORK, Dec. 10 (GenomeWeb News) - The Bank of New York on Wednesday began covering Orchid Biosciences, and, after issuing a positive report about the genetics company, helped drive Orchid shares up nearly 8 percent over two days.


The BoA statement coincided with the resignation of Orchid CFO and Vice President of Finance Mike Spicer, who plans to join a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company.


BoA called Orchid one of its "favorite picks" for 2005, and said shares in the Princeton, NJ-based forensics and paternity-testing company would reach $15. The stock closed up 4.8 percent, or $.54, at $11.79 on Thursday.

"We are excited about Orchid BioSciences' leading  position in a young DNA testing market," BoA said in its report.


The investment bank said Orchid's revenues "should grow more than 20 percent annually, driven by a surging US private paternity business, increased federal funding of DNA-based forensics testing, and surging food traceability and animal susceptibility testing, which, given the scalability of the laboratory services model, will fuel earnings growth well in excess of 30 percent for the next few  years," BoA said.


It added that "with over $30 million in cash on the balance sheet, we see little need for the company to tap the capital markets to fund its growth."

As GenomeWeb News reported yesterday, Orchid said it has promoted Joseph Warusz to vice president of financial planning and analysis, and has given him "additional financial oversight" until a replacement for Spicer has been found.


In the same statement, Orchid reiterated its revenue expectation of about $60 million for the fourth quarter.

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