Genentech's blistering growth starts to cool

For several years now, Genentech has been the belle of the biotech ball. But with sales of Avastin and Rituxan weakening, some of the glow is being lost. Profits were up 32 percent last year, far off the 74 percent pace hit in the previous two years. The analysts are forecasting a more ho-hum profit pace of 15 percent to 20 percent for several years--the kind of growth most companies would die for.

"We think Genentech's best growth days are behind it, as sales of its major products are reaching plateaus, especially Avastin, which continues to be viewed among investors as a high-growth product," says Friedman Billings Ramsey analyst Jim Reddoch.

- check out the AP report for more

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