Shares of

Dentsply International

(XRAY) - Get Report

were among the best-performing health-related stocks Thursday, rising 3% after the dental products company boosted its dividend and increased the number of shares it could buy as part of its stock repurchase plan.

The company will now pay a quarterly dividend of 7 cents a share, up from its previous payment of 6 cents. As for the buyback, the company has been authorized to buy stock in an amount that would maintain up to 5.5 million shares in treasury stock. Previously, the company was able to buy stock that would maintain up to 3 million shares. Dentsply currently has about 2.95 million in treasury stock. Shares were recently trading up $1.56, to $53.11.

China Medical Technologies

( CMED) jumped 19% after

Real Money's

Jim Cramer gave the maker of ultrasound machines a big thumbs up on CNBC's "Mad Money" television show Wednesday. "This stock gets the seal of approval from good old fashioned American capitalism, not just the PRC," Cramer said, referring to

General Electric's

(GE) - Get Report

15% stake in the company. What's more, Cramer said that some of the money that China is investing in health-care infrastructure is likely to "come China Med's way."

On Tuesday's Mad Money show, Cramer, in response to a caller, said China Medical Technologies was a speculative play that made him uncomfortable because of Chinese medical companies' tendencies to make unsubstantiated claims. On Wednesday, however, Cramer said that he was wrong about the company, which went public in August. In addition to calling the stock "cheap," Cramer said he expects research coverage of the stock imminently. "I want you to buy China Medical Technologies," he said, "before it goes even higher." Shares were recently trading up $3.67 to $23.44.

Shares of

HealthTronics

( HTRN) fell modestly after the company reaffirmed its 2005 earnings guidance. The provider of healthcare services continues to expect earnings of 52 cents to 54 cents a share, excluding the impact of Hurricane Katrina, which is expected to shave about 2 cents to 3 cents from earnings. The company also expects third-quarter earnings to be in line with analysts' expectations, excluding a minor impact from Katrina. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had been expecting full-year earnings of 53 cents a share and third-quarter earnings of 14 cents a share. Shares were trading down 7 cents to $10.08.

Nektar Therapeutics

(NKTR) - Get Report

fell 5% after the company said it would sell $200 million of convertible subordinated notes due 2012. Proceeds from the notes, which are being sold privately to institutional buyers, will be used to fund possible repurchases of the company's outstanding convertible subordinated notes. The remaining proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes. Shares were trading down 86 cents to $16.27.

Other health care volume movers included

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, up 9 cents to $25.40;

Elan

(ELN)

, down 17 cents to $7.18;

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

, down 45 cents to $83.90;

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

, down 29 cents to $27.51;

Guidant

( GDT), up 17 cents to $69.66;

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

, up 31 cents to $65.01;

UnitedHealth Group

(UNH) - Get Report

, up 99 cents to $53.58;

Boston Scientific

(BSX) - Get Report

, up 56 cents to $23.73;

Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Report

, down 6 cents to $24.25;

Schering-Plough

( SGP), up 2 cents to $20.49.