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8 Health Care Buys Ahead of Earnings

7. Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI) is an integrated global pharmaceutical company dealing in generic and brand pharmaceutical products. The company manages its business into three operating segments: Generics, Brands and Distribution. Watson will announce third-quarter results Nov. 1.

Net income for the third quarter of 2011 is estimated at $132.54 million on sales of $1.09 billion, higher than net income of $105.80 million recorded on $882.4 million sales for the same period in 2010, as per analysts polled by Bloomberg. For the quarter, earnings per share are forecast at $1.05 cents, vs. 85 cents registered in 2010 third quarter. Meanwhile, a multifold increase in operating profit is likely at $223.45 million, rising from $34.50 million in the year-ago period.

Of the 22 analysts covering the stock, 59% recommend a buy and the rest rate a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect the stock to gain an average 12.1% to $78.00 from current levels over the next 12 months.

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