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Updated from 3:09 p.m.

Shares of

Candela

( CLZR) were among the worst-performing health-related stocks Wednesday, falling 20.7% after the company posted second-quarter earnings and sales that fell below expectations and warned that third-quarter earnings would fall below estimates, too.

The maker of medical lasers earned $2.6 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $28.2 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 13 cents a share on sales of $29 million. A year ago the company earned $2.4 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $23.8 million. The latest results included a legal charge of $500,000 and a gain of $860,000, which was related to a decrease in the company's liability for lease payments at one of its former facilities. Looking ahead, Candela forecast third-quarter earnings of 12 cents to 14 cents a share on sales of $31 million to $32 million. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 15 cents a share on sales of $34.5 million. Shares traded down $2.50 to $9.60.

Thoratec

(THOR) - Get Synthorx, Inc. Report

rose 16.2% after the medical device maker posted fourth-quarter earnings and sales above consensus estimates. Excluding items, the company earned $6 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $48.3 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 7 cents a share on sales of $48.2 million. A year ago the company earned $3.3 million, or 6 cents a share, on sales of $42.4 million. Looking ahead, Thoratec reaffirmed the guidance it gave in January when it said it would post pro forma earnings growth of 35% to 40% over 2004 results and sales growth of about 10%. Analysts are expecting earnings of 29 cents a share on sales of $190.2 million. Shares traded up $1.62 to $11.65.

Shares of

Barr Pharmaceuticals

( BRL) rose modestly after the company posted mixed second-quarter results. Barr earned $59.4 million, or 56 cents a share, on sales of $257.4 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 55 cents a share on sales of $259.1 million. A year ago the company earned 54 cents a share on sales of $369.8 million. The year-over-year sales decline was due to a steep fall in the amount of ciprofloxacin the company sold during the quarter. The decrease, which was anticipated, resulted from the expiration of the pediatric exclusivity of the company's supplier on June 9, 2004, and by the subsequent launch of the drug by other generic competitors. Looking ahead, Barr reaffirmed its 2005 earnings guidance of $2.35 to $2.45 a share, which is in line with analysts' expectations. Shares traded up 14 cents to $47.69.

Genesis Healthcare

(GHCI)

rose 12.2% after the nursing center operator posted first-quarter results that handily beat expectations. Genesis posted operating earnings of $10.7 million, or 52 cents a share, on sales of $402.4 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 42 cents a share on sales of $393.5 million. Results were helped by a strong inpatient services business, higher-than-expected Medicare rates, a reduction in nurse agency costs, and improved accounts receivable collections, which resulted in a lower bad debt expense. Shares traded up $4.34 to $40.

Other health care movers included

Pfizer

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(PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report

, up 21 cents to $24.07;

Aastrom Biosciences

(ASTM)

, unchanged at $3.65;

Merck

(MRK) - Get Merck & Co., Inc. Report

, up 63 cents to $28.46;

Wyeth

( WYE), up 33 cents to $39.33;

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report

, up 58 cents to $66;

StemCells

(STEM)

, up 65 cents to $5.20;

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Amgen Inc. Report

, up 12 cents to $62.65; and

Schering-Plough

( SGP), up 4 cents to $18.97.