Today's Health Winners and Losers

Trimeris soars after it reports a fourth-quarter profit, beating estimates for a loss.
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Shares of

Trimeris

(TRMS)

were among the best-performing health-related stocks Friday, climbing 17% after the biotech company posted a surprise fourth-quarter profit.

The company earned $3.8 million, or 17 cents a share, on revenue of about $8 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected a loss of 1 cent a share on revenue of $6.3 million. During the year-earlier quarter, the company recorded a loss of $5.7 million, or 27 cents a share, on revenue of $536,000. Trimeris attributed the year-over-year improvement to strength in Fuzeon, the company's HIV drug.

"Attaining profitability is a significant and transforming event for Trimeris," the company said. "Continued investment in the growth of Fuzeon, efficient use of resources, and the progression of the next generation fusion inhibitor program will be the foundation for significant growth and continued profitability through 2006." Shares were trading up $2.03 to $13.77.

Allion Healthcare

(ALLI)

slumped 19% after the provider of pharmacy and disease management services for HIV patients laid out plans to restate its financials, and also posted fourth-quarter earnings. The company said the restatement is related to warrants that were issued to an outside director in April 2005 as part of an extension of a guarantee on the company's West Bank credit facility. The company will record a non-cash interest expense of $700,000 to $900,000, which will be recorded for the second quarter of 2005.

As for its fourth-quarter results, Allion posted earnings from continuing operations of $396,000, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $37.8 million. Analysts expected earnings of 4 cents a share on sales of $34.9 million. During the year-earlier period, the company recorded a loss of $578,000, or 19 cents a share, on sales of $16.4 million.

Looking ahead, Allion Healthcare sees first-quarter earnings of 3 cents to 5 cents a share on sales of $38 million to $40 million. Analysts project earnings of 11 cents a share on sales of $46.5 million. Shares were trading down $2.93 to $12.87.

Insmed

(INSM) - Get Report

slid 6% after the biopharmaceutical company priced 20 million shares of stock at $2 apiece, a 9% discount to Thursday's closing price of $2.19. The company expects to receive about $37.2 million in net proceeds from the offering. Insmed will use proceeds for working capital and other general corporate needs. Lazard Capital Markets led the underwriting syndicate. Shares were down 13 cents to $2.06.

Shares of

Corautus Genetics

(VEGF)

fell 6% after the biopharmaceutical company priced 7.5 million shares at $3.85 each, an 8% discount to Thursday's closing price of $4.20. The company expects to receive about $26.5 million in net proceeds, which will be used to fund working capital and general corporate needs. Lazard Capital Markets led the underwriting syndicate. Corautus shares were down 24 cents to $3.96.

Shares of

Kensey Nash

(KNSY)

rose 1% after the medical technology company's QuickCat aspiration catheter received Food and Drug Administration marketing clearance. The catheter is used to remove blood clots from vessels in the arterial system. Kensey Nash shares were higher by 33 cents to $24.64.

Other health care volume movers included

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, down 17 cents to $26.02;

Elan

(ELN)

, down 84 cents to $14.48;

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

, up 69 cents to $59;

Boston Scientific

(BSX) - Get Report

, up 20 cents to $22.71;

Biogen Idec

(BIIB) - Get Report

, up 15 cents to $47.69;

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

, up 2 cents to $73.60;

Generex Biotech

(GNBT)

, up 7 cents to $2.25;

Schering-Plough

(SGP)

, up 8 cents to $18.08;

Novavax

(NVAX) - Get Report

, up 21 cents to $5.75;

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

, up 24 cents to $34.75; and

Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Report

, up 22 cents to $22.92.