Friday's Health Winners & Losers
Health stocks met the weekend on a mixed note Friday after another week of earnings and a day of analyst adjustments.
On Friday the Nasdaq and Amex biotechnology indices were down 0.6% and 1.1%, respectively. But the Amex pharmaceutical index nudged up 1.08, or 0.35%, to 306.61. Some of the pharmas on the uptick Friday included Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) and Wyeth (WYE), which increased 1.3% and 1.2%.
One offender to the Nasdaq biotech index Friday, Discovery Labs (DSCO), was brushed off by the Food and Drug Administration for a third time. The agency didn't approve its Surflaxin, a treatment for the prevention of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in premature infants, but said it could be approvable in the future if certain, undisclosed, conditions are met. Shares sank $1.40, or 48.2%, to $1.50. The company said investors can expect an update from the company early next week.
Other stocks moved on post-earnings analyst adjustments.Vanda Pharmaceuticals (VNDA) shares traded higher, a day after its earnings. Caris began coverage of the company with a buy rating and a $22 price target, expecting a positive FDA decision for schizophrenia treatment Fanapta in July. Shares were up 50 cents, or 13.8%, to $4.12. Meanwhile, JMP Securities downgraded Cerus (CERS) to market perform from market outperform, a day after its earnings. Cerus shares were off by 10.6%, at $5.63. A day after posting its quarterly figures, Sepracor (SEPR) was also on the downtick amid analyst actions. Friedman Billings Ramsey downgraded the stock to underperform from market perform and dropped its price target to $17 from $23. Susquehanna Financial, which has a negative rating for the stock, upped its target to $17 from $14. Sepracor shares were down $1.90, or 8.8%, at $19.55. And finally, Lazard Capital downgraded Palomar Medical Technologies (PMTI) a day after earnings to hold from buy. Its shares gave up $1.08, or 9%, to $10.91.
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