On the strength of recent acquisitions and higher projectedearnings, Merrill Lynch analyst Stuart Weisbrod on Thursdayraised his rating of Genzyme Corp. to "intermediate buy" from"intermediate above average."

Genzyme's operating earnings should reach $1.63 a share in thecurrent fiscal year ending Dec. 31, up from Weisbrod's previousforecast of $1.45 a share. He forecasts 1993 profits at $2.25 ashare, an increase from a previous $2 estimate.

The company's stock (NASDAQ:GENZ) rose $2.50 a share onThursday to $47.25.

Weisbrod cited four acquisitions last month by the Cambridge,Mass.-based company as factors in his decision. IGLaboratories in which Genzyme has majority ownershipacquired Genetic Design for $23 million and Genzyme boughtEnzymatix for $2 million, Medix Biotech on for $11 million andNovachem for $500,000.

Besides acquisitions, Weisbrod noted Genzyme's announcementlast week to buy from Neozyme I the rights to Thyrogen, whichis expected to soon enter a pivotal clinical trial for diagnosingand treating thyroid cancer. Sales of Genzyme's biggest product,Ceredase, should increase to $88 million this year from $39.6million in 1991.

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