Health Stocks in Motion - TheStreet

Updated from 2:53 p.m. EDT

Shares of

Digene

(DIGE)

were among the worst-performing health and pharmaceutical stocks Thursday after the company posted fourth-quarter earnings that were weaker than expected and warned that 2005 results would fall short of expectations.

Excluding items, the biotech company earned 13 cents a share on sales of $25.9 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had expected it to earn 14 cents a share on sales of $27.1 million. Looking ahead, the company expects first-quarter earnings of 4 cents to 7 cents a share on sales of $26 million to $28 million. Analysts were looking for 15 cents a share on sales of $29.1 million. For the full year, Digene forecast earnings of 67 cents a share on sales of $125 million to $130 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 82 cents a share on sales of $132.8 million. Shares traded down $10.94, or 34.2%, to $21.08.

Cyberonics

(CYBX)

fell after the Food and Drug Administration

rejected its device that aims to treat depression. The FDA told the company that notwithstanding a favorable recommendation from its Neurological Devices Panel, it was rejecting the product because of inadequate testing. Cyberonics said: "We are shocked and bewildered by the FDA's decision to ignore its expert advisory panel's recommendation." The company said that it is arranging a meeting with FDA management to discuss the letter. Shares of Cyberonics traded down $9.59, or 40%, to $14.36.

Shares of

Vicuron Pharmaceuticals

(MICU)

rose after the company announced positive results from its phase III clinical trials of its antibiotic medication. The biotech company plans to seek marketing clearance for Dalbavancin by the end of the year. The antibiotic is used to treat patients with skin and soft tissue infections caused by Gram-positive bacteria. Shares traded up $2.27, or 21.9%, to $12.63.

Pharmos

(PARS)

rose after the company said the FDA granted orphan drug status for its dexanabinol drug, which is used to treat patients with severe traumatic brain injury. Orphan drug status gives Pharmos seven years of market exclusivity in the U.S. The company will announce the results of the phase III trial at the end of the year. Shares of Pharmos traded up 9 cents, or 2.7%, to $3.40.

Shares of

Draxis Health

(DRAX)

rose after the company posted better-than-expected-second-quarter results. The specialty pharmaceutical company posted earnings of 6 cents a share on sales of $16.7 million. Analysts had expected earnings of 4 cents a share on sales of $14.6 million. A year ago the company posted earnings of 2 cents a share on sales of $11.8 million. Shares traded up 58 cents, or 16.2%, to $4.20.

Other health care volume movers included

Teva Pharmaceutical

(TEVA) - Get Report

, down $1.76 to $25.23;

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, down 34 cents to $31.43;

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

, down 37 cents to $54.83;

Elan

(ELN)

, down 68 cents to $19.81; and

Schering-Plough

(SGP)

, down 16 cents to $18.04.