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Thomas Weisel Initiates Coverage of Waters

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Investment bank Thomas Weisel Partners has initiated coverage of Waters with an "overweight" rating on the firm's stock.

Analyst Peter Lawson wrote in a research note Thursday that Waters received an "overweight" rating because of three factors: its "industry-leading position in the life science space with industry high operating margins; its better-than-peer execution on earnings growth, organic revenue growth, and earnings consistency; and its discount valuation versus both peers and historical levels."

According to the research note, Waters' product breadth and its position as a market share leader in liquid chromatography and top-three player in mass spectrometry means it is well positioned if pharma companies cut down on the number of suppliers they use for research equipment.

"Despite the near-term uncertainty surrounding pharmaceutical R&D spending, the company appears well positioned over the intermediate and long term, and we are attracted to the near-term valuation," Lawson wrote.

He placed a 12-month price target of $63 on Waters' shares, which closed down 1 percent at $55.09 in Thursday trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

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