Tel Aviv investment house Ilanot Batucha raises Teva objective to $72

Analyst Sophie Galper predicts the drugmaker will meet Q4 profit forecasts
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Tel Aviv investment house Ilanot Batucha today raised its price objective for Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:TEVA) (TEVA) - Get Report to $72. The price target is about 30% above Teva's opening level today.

Analyst Sophie Galper affirmed a Buy rating for the Israeli drugmaker, dubbing it "one of the most impressive companies in the global pharma industry in recent years".

In her research note compiled after the company's release of third-quarter financials, she attributed the target update to its impressive improvement in operating profit, although revenues fell short of Ilanot Batucha's forecasts.

The company's slowing revenue growth was entirely offset by its improved operating profit, Galper noted, lifting its quarterly net to a record $79.4 million, 75% above its net in the parallel quarter of 2000.

She is confident that Teva will meet forecast 60-cent earnings per share in the fourth quarter, and that production streamlining will improve Teva's gross profit margins by 1% to 1.5% in that quarter.

Teva stock starts Wall Street trade Tuesday at $60.06.