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Cowen upbeat on Nanosphere; shares rise

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of genetic testing products maker Nanosphere Inc. climbed Monday after a Cowen & Co. analyst rated its stock "Outperform."

THE SPARK: Analyst Shaun Rodriguez is optimistic about the company's future revenue growth, and said he believes that more hospitals will start using its Verigene tests.

THE BIG PICTURE: The Northbrook, Ill., company's Verigene system is used in diagnostic DNA and RNA testing. Nanosphere said the system allows clinicians to run simple, inexpensive tests, and enables multiple tests to be run on the same sample simultaneously. It also allows laboratories that don't have advanced diagnostic capabilities to run genetic tests.

The company sold 166 Verigene systems in 2012, and expects that number to grow to 200 to 250 this year.

However the company had to lower its first-quarter guidance in February because of disappointing growth in international markets. Nanosphere now expects 45 to 55 placements during the first quarter, down from an earlier estimate of 80 to 100.

SHARE ACTION: Nanosphere stock rose 20 cents, or 7.8 percent, to close at $2.70. The shares fell 32 percent Feb. 14 but have recovered almost all of those losses.