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Today's Health Winners and Losers

Shares of I-Flow (IFLO) were among the worst-performing health-related stocks Tuesday, slumping 15% after the maker of infusion systems posted fourth-quarter results that missed expectations.

The company reported a loss of $5.3 million, or 23 cents a share, on sales of $26.9 million. The results included stock-based compensation costs of $6.1 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected break-even earnings, including stock-based compensation costs, on sales of $28.1 million. A year earlier, the company posted a loss of $12.3 million, or 56 cents a share, on sales of $21.1 million.

The company's recent sales results were hurt by a shortage of 5-flourouracil, a widely used chemotherapy drug. The company said the shortage lowered fourth-quarter sales by about $1.9 million. "Because the market availability of 5-FU is not expected to return to normal for several months, we anticipate a comparable impact in the first quarter of 2006," the company said. Shares were trading down $2.49 to $13.81.

United Therapeutics (UTHR) fell 8% after the drugmaker posted fourth-quarter results that were well below forecasts. The company earned $29.4 million, or $1.14 a share, on sales of $29.6 million. Excluding a $17.5 million tax benefit, the company earned $11.9 million, or 46 cents a share. Analysts expected earnings of 66 cents a share and sales of $36.9 million. During the year-ago quarter, the company earned $6.9 million, or 28 cents a share, on sales of $21.6 million. Shares were trading down $5.28 to $61.74.

Shares of Triad Hospitals (TRI) rose 4% after the hospital operator posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. The company reported earnings from continuing operations of $59 million, or 68 cents a share, on sales of $1.27 billion. Analysts expected earnings of 66 cents a share and sales of $1.27 billion. A year earlier, the company earned $49.4 million, or 64 cents a share, on sales of $1.08 billion.

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