Shares of

Hospira

(HSP)

were among the worst-performing health-related stocks Tuesday, slumping 17% after the drugmaker posted weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter results and issued 2006 earnings guidance below expectations.

The company earned $26.6 million, or 16 cents a share, on sales of $646.2 million. Excluding items, the company earned $53.4 million, or 32 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 45 cents a share, before items, and sales of $685.1 million. During the year-earlier period, the company earned $49.5 million, or 31 cents a share, on sales of $700.2 million. Excluding items, the company posted earnings of $62.9 million, or 40 cents a share, last year.

For 2006, Hospira forecast earnings, excluding items, of $2.05 to $2.10 a share. Analysts project earnings of $2.25 a share. The company expects sales growth of 4% to 6% over 2005 sales of $2.63 billion. Analysts anticipate sales of $2.81 billion, or sales growth of about 7%. Hospira shares were trading down $8.26 to $38.78.

Shares of

King Pharmaceuticals

( KG) tumbled 16% after the drugmaker posted fourth-quarter results that were well below expectations. The company posted a loss of $94.6 million, or 39 cents a share. Excluding items, the company earned $92.3 million, or 38 cents a share, short of analysts' estimate of 43 cents. King reported revenue of $423.3 million, compared with analysts' projection of $482.7 million. A year earlier, the company earned $14.7 million, or 6 cents a share, on revenue of $342.6 million. Excluding items, the company earned $33.8 million, or 14 cents a share, during the year-earlier quarter. Shares recently were down $3.14 to $16.73.

Kindred Healthcare

(KND)

shares rose slightly after the hospital and nursing center operator posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings. The company reported earnings from continuing operations of $24.3 million, or 56 cents a share, on revenue of $989 million. Results included one-time gains that added $2.2 million, or 5 cents a share. Analysts expected earnings of 45 cents a share. A year earlier, the company recorded earnings from continuing operations of $26.6 million, or 63 cents a share, on revenue of $893.2 million.

Kindred said that it won't provide 2006 guidance because of a "number of regulatory changes that will impact each of its four operating divisions in 2006." Analysts project 2006 earnings of $1.89 a share on sales of $4.21 billion. Shares were trading up 5 cents to $22.08.

Tanox

( TNOX) rose 1% after the drug developer posted fourth-quarter results that blew past estimates. The company earned $9.8 million, or 23 cents a share, reversing a year-earlier loss of $3.8 million, or 9 cents a share. Revenue surged to $23 million from $5.6 million, aided by higher royalty revenue. Analysts expected earnings of 2 cents a share and sales of $15.1 million.

Looking ahead, Tanox said it expects cash usage of about $15 million during 2006. Shares were trading up 19 cents to $19.19.

Shares of

Orthofix International

(OFIX) - Get Report

slid 12% after the medical device maker posted fourth-quarter earnings that missed expectations and warned that first-quarter results would be below forecasts. The company earned $7.2 million, or 44 cents a share, below analysts' expectation of 51 cents. Sales totaled $80.3 million, shy of Wall Street's target of $80.7 million.

Orthofix sees first-quarter earnings of 45 cents to 50 cents a share, including 5 cents a share in stock-based compensation costs. The company expects first-quarter sales of $79 million to $81 million. Analysts project earnings of 59 cents a share and sales of $85.3 million. Orthofix shares recently had tumbled $5.59 to $40.85.

Other health care volume movers included

Generex Biotech

(GNBT)

, down 23 cents to $2.15;

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, down 30 cents to $26.30;

Elan

(ELN)

, down 68 cents to $13.27;

Boston Scientific

(BSX) - Get Report

, down 48 cents to $24.45;

Novavax

(NVAX) - Get Report

, down 3 cents to $5.69;

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

, up 1 cent to $75.49;

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

, down 14 cents to $57.77;

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

, down 23 cents to $35.13;

Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Report

, up 3 cents to $23.24; and

Schering-Plough

( SGP), down 27 cents to $18.68.