When analysts look at Wyeth ( WYE), they see a light at the end of the tunnel -- but it's no longer the headlight of an oncoming train. For years, the company faced the mounting legal bills and uncertainty associated with fen-phen diet drug litigation. In recent weeks, however, a couple of encouraging headlines suggest that when the company issues its quarterly financial report Monday, Wall Street's Wyeth watchers can spend more time reflecting on products and less time worrying about lawsuits. "The shadow of diet drug litigation is diminishing," said Albert L. Rauch, of A.G. Edwards, in a report to clients on Jan. 26. "However, we still expect the company to take additional charges to add to its litigation reserves." Wyeth has set aside $16.6 billion in reserves, and even analysts more optimistic than Rauch -- he has a hold rating on the stock -- expect the company to increase those reserves over time. Rauch predicts Wyeth will earn 69 cents a share for the fourth quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call are expecting a profit of $900 million, or 67 cents a share, on revenue of $4.66 billion. For the same period in 2003, Wyeth earned $801.7 million, or 60 cents a share, on revenue of $4.33 billion, excluding items. For fiscal 2004, the Wall Street consensus forecasts a profit of $3.58 billion, or $2.68 a share, on revenue of $17.35 billion. "The diet drug litigation will likely continue to cast a shadow over the shares and pressure valuations," said Rauch, who doesn't own shares. (His firm has a short position in the stock.) Still, the sentiment for Wyeth has improved in recent months. According to Thomson First Call, analysts have issued 11 buy ratings and 16 hold ratings. Three months ago, there were nine buy ratings, 12 hold recommendations and two sell recommendations.