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Health Stocks in Motion

For 2005, Henry Schein forecast earnings of $1.75 to $1.77 a share. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.85 a share. Shares recently fell $1.19 to $40.82.

Sepracor (SEPR) rose 4% after the pharmaceutical company reported a narrower-than-expected third-quarter loss on a sharp rise in sales. The company posted a loss of $2.2 million, or 2 cents a share, compared with $130.4 million, or $1.40 a share, a year earlier. Results included a one-time gain of $18.3 million, or 17 cents a share. Analysts were expecting a loss of 60 cents a share. Sales jumped to $205.7 million from $80.1 million, well above analysts' forecast of $166 million. Sepracor shares were trading up $2.44 to $56.86.

Shares of Nature's Sunshine (NATR) fell 8% after the vitamin maker posted third-quarter earnings that fell short of forecasts. The company earned $4.3 million, or 28 cents a share, missing analysts' expectation of 34 cents a share. Sales, which came in at $87.7 million, were slightly shy of Wall Street's prediction of $87.4 million. A year earlier, the company earned $4.6 million, or 29 cents a share, on sales of $84.5 million.

Sales at the company's Synergy Worldwide unit declined 16% to $20.4 million, contributing to the weaker-than-expected results. Nature's Sunshine sales in the U.S. grew 10.5% to $37.3 million. Shares were down $1.73 to $18.87.

Other health care volume movers included Pfizer (PFE), up 4 cents to $21.13; Novavax (NVAX), up 48 cents to $4.63; Amgen (AMGN), up 31 cents to $75.62; Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), down 63 cents to $63.47; Merck (MRK), down 14 cents to $26.86; Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), up 14 cents to $21.78; and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX), up 16 cents to $15.39.

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