Updated from 2:31 p.m. EST

Shares of

SuperGen

(SUPG)

were among the best-performing health-related stocks Friday, rising 5.6% after the company posted fourth-quarter earnings and sales that topped expectations.

The company earned $5.5 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $23.3 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting a loss of 14 cents a share on sales of $12.4 million. A year ago, the company posted a loss of $18.8 million, or 52 cents a share, on sales of $700,000. Fourth-quarter results were helped by $12.5 million in milestone payments, $2.5 million in development and license revenue, and $2.9 million in reimbursable development costs associated with a license agreement between the company and

MGI Pharma

(MOGN)

. SuperGen's results were also helped by a decline in operating costs, which totaled $14.6 million, down from $16.9 million a year ago. Shares traded up 27 cents to $5.06.

VCA Antech

(WOOF)

rose 6% after the animal health care company posted fourth-quarter earnings above expectations. The company earned $13.3 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $176.4 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 14 cents a share on sales of $169.8 million. A year ago, the company earned $9.4 million, or 11 cents a share, on sales of $132.4 million. Shares traded up $1.16 to $20.39.

Shares of

Penwest Pharmaceuticals

(PPCO)

rose 4.7% after the company posted a narrower fourth-quarter loss. Penwest posted a loss of $6.5 million, or 34 cents a share, on sales of $1.1 million. The one-analyst estimate called for a loss of 37 cents a share on sales of $1.2 million. A year ago, the company reported a loss of $7.8 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales of $1.2 million. Shares traded up 49 cents to $10.99.

CV Therapeutics

(CVTX)

fell 3.4% after the biopharmaceutical company posted a fourth-quarter loss that was wider than expected. CV Therapeutics posted a loss of $53.8 million, or $1.62 a share, on collaborative research revenue of $7.6 million. Analysts were expecting the company to post a loss of $1.27 a share. A year ago, the company posted a loss of $35.1 million, or $1.21 a share, on collaborative research revenue of $5.6 million. Shares traded down 78 cents to $22.50.

Shares of

American Physicians Capital

(ACAP)

rose 6.4% after the provider of medical professional liability insurance swung to a fourth-quarter profit that was above expectations. The company posted operating income of $6.3 million, or 71 cents a share, on sales of $58.5 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 61 cents a share on sales of $60 million. A year ago, the company posted a loss of $621,000, or 7 cents a share, on sales of $67.9 million. Shares traded up $2.22 to $36.82.

Other health care movers included

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, up 46 cents to $26.86;

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

, down 9 cents to $31.90;

Aastrom Biosciences

(ASTM)

, down 14 cents to $2.67;

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

, up 91 cents to $62.81;

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

, up 33 cents to $66.22;

Schering-Plough

(SGP)

, down 16 cents to $19.14;

Genentech

(DNA)

, up $1.30 to $48.24;

Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Report

, up 19 cents to $24.93;

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

(TEVA) - Get Report

, down 11 cents to $27.56; and

StemCells

(STEM)

, down 29 cents to $4.38.6 cents to $13.01.