Today's Health Winners and Losers

Matrixx Initiatives plunges after disclosing an FTC probe into its Zicam advertising.
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Shares of

Matrixx Initiatives

(MTXX)

were among the worst-performing health-related stocks Tuesday, tumbling 24% after the health care products maker said it is being investigated by the

Federal Trade Commission

.

Specifically, the FTC is looking into the company's advertising and promotional activities for several of its Zicam cold remedy products. "The purpose of the inquiry is to determine whether the company engaged in unfair or deceptive acts or practices in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act," the company said in a regulatory filing. The FTC has requested that the company provide certain information to the agency on or before April 27. "The company is fully cooperating with the FTC and believes that its advertisements and promotional activities are accurate and comply with applicable laws and regulations in all material respects," Matrixx said. Shares were trading down $5.55 to $17.87.

Health Net

(HNT)

fell 1% after the company reaffirmed its 2006 earnings guidance. The managed-health care company continues to see 2006 earnings of $2.90 to $3.10 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call project earnings of $2.99 a share. The company reaffirmed guidance ahead of meetings that will take place with investors and analysts during the first two weeks of April. Health Net said it also expects to address its expectations regarding Medicare and Medicaid enrollment, its outlook for commercial premiums and health care costs and the performance of its government contracts business. Shares were trading down 53 cents to $49.62.

Shares of

Pediatrix Medical Group

(PDX)

rose 2% after the contract medical services provider announced a 2-for-1 stock split. The split will be payable on April 27 to shareholders of record on April 13. As of March 1, the company had some 24.1 million shares of stock outstanding. Shares were trading up $2.04 to $103.96.

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

rose 1% after the drugmaker lifted its first-quarter earnings guidance. The company now sees earnings of 61 cents to 67 cents a share, up from an earlier view of 52 cents to 58 cents a share. Excluding items, the company sees earnings of 71 cents to 75 cents a share, up from an earlier forecast of 62 cents to 66 cents a share. Analysts project earnings of 64 cents a share. The company cited strong sales of Zocor, its cholesterol drug, for the better-than-expected outlook. The company also said that lower-than-expected expenses helped it during the quarter.

For 2006, Merck continues to expect earnings, excluding items, of $2.28 to $2.36 a share. Analysts project earnings of $2.33 a share. Merck shares were up 31 cents to $35.72.

Shares of

Cybex International

(CYB) - Get Report

fell 5% after the maker of exercise and cardio-training equipment said it plans to sell 3.5 million shares of stock in a public offering. The company will sell 1.75 million shares, while selling shareholders will sell the rest. The company plans to use proceeds from the offering for debt payments, along with general corporate needs. Shares were trading down 27 cents to $5.72.

Other health care volume movers included

Generex Biotechnology

(GNBT)

, down 21 cents to $2.49;

Pfizer

(PFE) - Get Report

, unchanged at $25.12;

Boston Scientific

(BSX) - Get Report

, down 30 cents to $22.33;

UnitedHealth Group

(UNH) - Get Report

, down 33 cents to $55.14;

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

, down 30 cents to $58.87;

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

, up 1 cent to $71.89;

Bristol-Myers Squibb

(BMY) - Get Report

, unchanged at $24.71;

Elan

(ELN)

, down 6 cents to $14.51; and

Schering-Plough

(SGP)

, down 6 cents to $18.97.