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Shares of

Taro Pharmaceutical

(TARO) - Get Taro Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Report

were among the worst-performing health-related stocks Thursday, tumbling 33% after the company posted third-quarter results that fell well below Wall Street expectations.

The drugmaker earned $2.1 million, or 7 cents a share, on sales of $72.5 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 28 cents a share, with sales of $80.7 million. During last year's third quarter, the company earned $4 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $73.3 million. "Our results reflect the competitive nature of the generic drug industry and our continuing investment in the development of proprietary and generic drugs," the company said. Shares were trading down $7.12 to $14.78.

IMS Health

( RX) traded actively after the health care information provider's planned acquisition by

VNU

fell apart. The $7 billion merger, which was announced in July, faced plenty of opposition from VNU shareholders. "Several of VNU's major shareholders have made it clear, for a variety of reasons, they did not want to pursue any large merger at this time," IMS Health said in a statement. "While we regret that the merger with VNU will not happen, our business is strong. We are executing on our strategy, and will continue to look for ways to provide clients with even more comprehensive information and analysis." As a result of the scuttled deal, VNU will reimburse IMS $15 million for costs associated with the merger, and agreed to pay it another $45 million if VNU is acquired during the next 12 months. IMS, meanwhile, has agreed to return the $15 million to VNU if IMS is acquired during the next 12 months.

Separately, IMS announced a stock buyback plan for up to 10 million shares. "With the termination of our proposed merger with VNU, we are able to resume our share repurchase program," IMS said. "Given our current strong cash position, this authorization enables us to accelerate our share repurchase activity and to improve our returns." Including the company's previous buyback plan, which had 4.4 million shares remaining, IMS is currently authorized to buy back as many as 14.4 million shares. Shares were trading up 71 cents, or 3%, to $24.13.

Shares of

Usana Health Sciences

(USNA) - Get USANA Health Sciences, Inc. Report

rose 2% after the nutritional products maker increased its share repurchase plan by an additional $50 million. During 2005, the company repurchased some 926,000 shares for a total of $40 million. Shares were up 73 cents to $42.50.

Zoll Medical

( ZOLL) climbed 10% after the defibrillator maker posted fourth-quarter results that beat expectations. The company earned $2.2 million, or 23 cents a share, on sales of $57.1 million. Analysts expected earnings of 19 cents a share and sales of $54.8 million for the quarter ended Oct. 2. A year earlier, Zoll earned $2.1 million, or 23 cents a share, on sales of $55.7 million. Shares traded up $2.31 to $25.15.

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Shares of

Triad Hospitals

(TRI) - Get Thomson Reuters Corporation Report

fell 3% after the company announced the resignation of its chief financial officer. Burke Whitman, who joined Triad in early 1999, is leaving the company so that he can take a job at

Health Management Associates

(HMA)

as chief operating officer. Whitman's resignation is effective Friday. W. Stephen Love, who currently works as Triad's controller, will replace Whitman on an interim basis. Shares of Triad recently fell $1.18 to $41.98. Health Management, meanwhile, jumped 7%, or $1.52, to $23.05.

QMed

(QMED)

shares fell 21% after the company said it wasn't able to renew its disease management contract with Alere Medical. The contract, worth about $7 million in annual revenue, will expire Dec. 31. In fiscal 2004, QMed's revenue totaled $15.6 million. The company's shares recently tumbled $2.55 to $9.36.

Other health care volume movers included

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report

, down 16 cents to $21.21;

Gilead Sciences

(GILD) - Get Gilead Sciences, Inc. Report

, down $1.71 to $53.92;

Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Report

, up 15 cents to $22;

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report

, up 2 cents to $63.27;

Novavax

(NVAX) - Get Novavax, Inc. Report

, down 15 cents to $3.37;

Guidant

( GDT), down 14 cents to $62.46;

Merck

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

, down 5 cents to $29.73;

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Amgen Inc. Report

, up $1.15 to $82.40; and

Schering-Plough

( SGP), unchanged at $19.30.