Health Stocks in Motion - TheStreet

Updated from 12:34 p.m. EST

Shares of

AmerisourceBergen

(ABC) - Get Report

were among the worst-performing health-related stocks Monday, falling 11.6% after the company warned that its first-quarter earnings would be below expectations.

The drug distributor expects earnings of 75 cents to 85 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had been expecting earnings of $1.10 a share. The company said that it was hurt by reduced profits "resulting from lower-than-anticipated inventory levels associated with its ongoing transition to fee-for-service contracts with branded pharmaceutical manufacturers."

For the full year, the company now expects earnings of $3.10 to $3.50 a share, down from its earlier forecast of $4 to $4.10 a share. Analysts had been expecting 2005 earnings of $3.79 a share. "We are very disappointed in our earnings performance during this tough transition year," the company said. Still, AmerisourceBergen remains confident that its performance will rebound during 2006, saying that it will earn between $3.60 and $4.40 a share, which is just below analysts' expectations of $4.42 a share. Shares traded down $7.08 to $54.03.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals

(LGND) - Get Report

fell 28.6% after the company said its lung cancer drug, Targretin, failed to significantly extend the lives of patients taking the drug in clinical studies. The company said two phase III trials failed to show an improved overall survival or projected two-year survival. The company said that it was particularly disappointed because earlier studies had shown positive trends. Shares traded down $2.35 to $5.88.

Despite receiving Food and Drug Administration approval for its Xibrom treatment, shares of

Ista Pharmaceuticals

(ISTA)

fell 1.7% Monday. The company expects to launch Xibrom, a sterile, topical, nonsteroidal solution that treats the type of eye inflammation that occurs after cataract surgery, during the second quarter of 2005. Xibrom is the first twice-daily solution to be approved in the U.S. All other medications that treat ocular inflammation after cataract surgery are dosed four times daily. Shares traded down 17 cents to $9.67.

The Medicines Company

(MDCO) - Get Report

fell 7.9% after the company suspended patient enrollment in its Clevelox phase III safety trials. The halt came after a planned interim analysis showed more frequent atrial fibrillation in patients using Clevelox than in patients using comparable drugs. The analysis did not reveal any other unexpected safety findings, the company said. Clevelox is an agent that is used to reduce blood pressure during cardiac surgery. The company said that further clinical studies will be necessary to sort out the interim findings, which will delay its new drug application for Clevelox beyond 2005. Shares traded down $1.90 to $22.27.

Other health care movers included

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, up 6 cents to $26.23;

Elan

(ELN)

, down 12 cents to $7.29;

Cardinal Health

(CAH) - Get Report

, down $3.39 to $53.78;

Schering-Plough

(SGP)

, up 10 cents to $18.12;

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

, down 11 cents to $31.76;

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

, up 26 cents to $68.35;

Genentech

(DNA)

, down $1.85 to $56.90;

Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Report

, up 3 cents to $25.05;

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

, down 51 cents to $58.47; and

Biogen Idec

(BIIB) - Get Report

, down 70 cents to $38.10.