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Analysts upbeat on Shire's Q3 numbers

City analysts hailed FTSE 100 pharmaceutical firm Shire (LON:SHP) after it revealed an impressive Q3 performance on Thursday.

The firm was the biggest riser on Footsie Thursday as the positive numbers prompted an uplift to full year earnings guidance.

Heavyweight brokers Deutsche and JP Morgan Cazenove both lifted their target prices on the firm.

Deutsche says the roadmap for attractive EPS (earnings per share) growth is now clear and that the "above consensus" 3Q results showed that the sequential sales acceleration promised by management was on track.

Its target goes to 3,350p from 2,660p previously.

Analyst James Gordon, at JP Morgan Cazenove, noted that Shire's cost savings programme, announced yesterday, had driven an 8% upgrade to its 2015 core EPS estimates.

It also prompted a price target increase to 3,200p from 3,000p - representing 14% potential upside.

For the quarter, Shire's operating income surged 25% to US$340.8mln from US$273.4mln a year earlier, while underlying pre-tax profit improved 24% to US$332.8mln from US$268.6mln.

The company increased its guidance on full year earnings growth to the mid-to-high teens.


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