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Deutsche Bank Initiates Coverage of Gen-Probe

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Deutsche Bank has initiated coverage of Gen-Probe with a Buy rating and a $70.50 price target.

In a note published Monday, the bank said that 2012 is a transition year for Gen-Probe, with the expected launch of its next-generation molecular testing platform Panther and several assays, including human papillomavirus and PCA3 for prostate cancer, which are expected to help drive revenue growth. Deutsche Bank analyst Vijay Kumar noted that Gen-Probe has placed more than 550 of its Tigris instruments since its launch five years ago, and the bank expects Panther to mirror that success as it targets the low- to mid-volume tasting space.

Gen-Probe expects to receive US Food and Drug Administration clearance of the Panther system in either the first or second quarter of 2012. Its Aptima HPV assay was cleared by FDA in October.

Gen-Probe said during its third-quarter conference call in early November that it expects to report full-year revenues of between $575 million and $580 million, and earnings per share of between $2.28 and $2.32.

In Tuesday afternoon trade on the Nasdaq, shares of Gen-Probe were up 2 percent at $57.09 compared to a 3 percent jump for the broader Nasdaq market.

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