Just in case anybody was wondering, Roche again affirmed its intent to buy the chunk of Genentech it doesn't already own. The company pooh-poohs worries that it can't put together financing for a $43 billion deal in this tight credit market. And if it's as cautious about these assurances as it seems to be on its 2008 sales forecast, then M&A boosters can rest easy.
Indeed, investors were less than thrilled when Roche confirmed that it expects a "high single-digit" hike in group sales for the year. That's because the company has been growing at an actual 10 percent clip, and so the sub-10 forecast either means it's expecting a slowdown in the fourth quarter, or it's being super-careful. (In this environment, we can't blame the cautious.)
For the record, Roche sales grew by 1.6 percent for the quarter, with strong showings from Herceptin (14 percent growth) and Avastin (37 percent growth).