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BUZZ-Medtronic Plc: 'Weathers Q2 challenges' - Cowen

** Medical device maker's shares up as much as 3.25 pct to $80.34 - biggest intraday pct gain in nearly a year

** Biggest boost to the S&P 500 healthcare index

** Expects $55 mln-$65 mln impact from Hurricane Maria, well below $250 mln estimated in early Oct

** MDT's favorable Q2 update should be well-received, especially given how surprised many were by its initial estimate - Cowen & Co

** "As MDT turns the page on Maria, we expect sentiment to refocus on the trajectory of its other franchises, most notably diabetes" - Cowen, which maintains "outperform" rating

** Also reports prelim Q2 revenue of $7.05 bln, which beat estimate of $6.84 bln

** 11 of 23 brokerages rate the stock "buy" or higher, 12 "hold"; median PT is $90

** Up to Wednesday's close, stock had risen 9.24 pct this year (Reporting by Akankshita Mukhopadhyay)