Updated from 3:15 p.m. EDT

Cardinal Health

(CAH) - Get Report

was the biggest gainer on the

New York Stock Exchange

Wednesday, rallying 20.4% after the company filed a belated annual report with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

. Cardinal posted fourth-quarter earnings of $394 million, or 97 cents a share, 3 cents better than forecasts, although it predicted earnings would fall 10% to 15% in the first half of its current fiscal year. Investors were evidently relieved that the news wasn't worse and bid up the stock $8.02 to $47.35. Cardinal still sits about $30 below its 52-week high, having been gutted in July on word of an SEC probe and the resignation of its chief financial officer.

Shares of

aaiPharma

(AAII)

rose 59% after the Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug application for

Aventis'

( AVE) Allegra-D 24-hour tablets, a formulation that was developed with aaiPharma and Osmotica Pharmaceutical. Under the terms of the agreement, Aventis will make a one-time payment to aaiPharma and also make periodic royalty payments based on product sales. Shares of aaiPharma traded up 98 cents to $2.64.

Laserscope

( LSCP) rose 32.9% after the maker of medical lasers posted third-quarter financial results that easily beat expectations. The company earned 19 cents a share on sales of $24.2 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 15 cents a share on sales of $22.7 million. The company's results were helped by strength in its urology and aesthetics businesses. Looking ahead, Laserscope forecast 2005 earnings of 75 cents to 80 cents a share on sales of $125 million to $130 million. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 71 cents a share on sales of $111.7 million. Shares traded up $6.49 to $26.20.

Shares of

CV Therapeutics

( CVTX) rose 17.9% after the company posted a narrower-than-expected third-quarter loss on strong sales. The drug company posted a loss of $1.03 a share on sales of $5.6 million. Analysts were expecting a loss of $1.18 a share on sales of $3.5 million.

Separately, the company announced that it has been enrolling patients into its approval-enabling study of Renexa ahead of schedule. If the current rate of enrollment continues, CV Therapeutics expects patient enrollment to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2005, with data being available at the end of the second quarter or early third quarter. To date, the study has enrolled 372 patients. In total, about 500 patients are expected to enroll in the trial. Renexa is used to treat patients with chronic angina. Shares traded up $2.24 to $14.75.

Pozen

(POZN)

traded actively after the pharmaceutical company posted third-quarter results that beat expectations but warned that fourth-quarter sales would fall short of expectations. The company posted a loss of 20 cents during the third quarter, three cents ahead of expectations, on sales of $1.9 million, roughly in line with expectations. Looking ahead, Pozen forecast fourth-quarter sales of $1.9 million. Analysts had been expecting $2.1 million. Shares ended the day unchanged at $9.12.

Other health care volume movers included

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, up 71 cents to $29.04;

StemCells

(STEM)

, up 12 cents to $3.29;

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

, up 56 cents to $31.22;

Genentech

( DNA), up $3.61 to $46.48; and

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

, up $1.10 to $56.02.