Health Stocks in Motion

Digene falls on second-quarter guidance.
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Updated from 3:27 p.m. EDT

Shares of

Digene

(DIGE)

were among the worst-performing health and pharmaceutical stocks Thursday, falling 24.4% after the company posted strong first-quarter earnings results but warned that second-quarter sales would fall significantly below expectations.

Excluding items, the biotechnology company earned 11 cents a share on sales of $26.2 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 5 cents a share on sales of $27.2 million. Looking ahead, the company forecast second-quarter earnings of 2 cents to 10 cents a share on sales of $26 million to $28 million. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 9 cents a share on sales of $30.4 million. Shares traded down $6.40 to $19.80.

Impax Laboratories

(IPXL)

fell 22.5% after the company delayed its third-quarter earnings results. The company now expects to release its earnings on Nov. 9, which will give its auditors more time to complete their review of third-quarter financial statements. Auditors are looking at the timing of certain customer credits on bupropion products that were marketed by one of Impax's partners. Shares traded down $2.93 to $10.07.

Shares of

Andrx

(ADRX)

fell 15.6% after the company's third-quarter results fell far below expectations. The pharmaceutical company posted a profit of 16 cents a share on sales of $272.3 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 31 cents a share on sales of $291.9 million. The company blamed product and approval delays for the earnings shortfall. Shares traded down $3.07 to $16.59.

Pediatrix Medical Group

(PDX)

rose 8.6% after it turned in mixed third-quarter results but said that its fourth-quarter earnings results, helped by its stock repurchase plan, would top expectations. The company earned $1.04 a share on sales of $158.3 million during the third quarter. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.05 a share on sales of $156.3 million. Looking ahead, Pediatrix forecast fourth-quarter earnings of $1.06 to $1.08 a share, up from its previous guidance of $1.04 to $1.06 a share. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.03 a share. For 2005, Pediatrix forecast earnings of $4.50 to $4.60 a share, higher than the $4.35 a share that analysts had been expecting. Shares traded up $4.85 to $61.26.

Shares of

Caremark

(CMX)

rose 8.8% after the company posted solid third-quarter earnings results and predicted that fourth-quarter earnings would top expectations. Excluding items, the pharmacy benefit manager earned 38 cents a share on sales of $7.46 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 35 cents a share on sales of $7.56 billion. Looking ahead, Caremark forecast fourth-quarter earnings of 43 cents to 44 cents a share, up from its previous guidance of 41 cents to 42 cents a share, and above analysts' expectations of 42 cents a share. It forecast sales of $7.8 billion to $8 billion, in line with expectations. Shares traded up $2.75 to $34.

Other health care volume movers included

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, down 39 cents to $29.06;

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

, down 85 cents to $27.02;

StemCells

(STEM)

, down 24 cents to $2.90;

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

(TEVA) - Get Report

, down 22 cents to $23.92; and

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

, up 45 cents to $59.