Health Stocks in Motion
Charles River Laboratories (CRL) rose 8.7% after the company posted fourth-quarter results that beat expectations. Excluding items, the company earned $31.2 million, or 48 cents a share, on sales of $238.1 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 47 cents a share on sales of $227 million. A year ago, the company earned $20.6 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales of $156 million. Looking ahead, Charles River forecast first-quarter earnings of 54 cents to 56 cents a share, in line with expectations, on sales growth of 57% to 60%. Analysts are looking for sales of $272.4 million, or sales growth of 58%. Shares traded up $4.06 to $51.
Shares of WellCare Health Plans (WCG) fell 8.6% after the company posted solid fourth-quarter results but warned that first-quarter earnings would fall short of expectations. The company posted earnings of $17.7 million, or 46 cents a share, on sales of $397.3 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 44 cents a share. Looking ahead, the company forecast first-quarter earnings of 23 cents to 25 cents a share on sales of $403 million to $408 million. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 32 cents a share. Shares traded down $3.28 to $34.67.
Other health care movers included Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA), down $1.71 to $28.66; Pfizer (PFE), down 26 cents to $25.22; Aastrom Biosciences (ASTM), up 8 cents to $2.79; Merck (MRK), down 6 cents to $29.35; Amgen (AMGN), up 44 cents to $63.69; Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), down 9 cents to $65.91; and Schering Plough (SGP), down 18 cents to $19.25.
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