Health stocks, particularly pharmaceuticals, traded lower on Thursday amid earnings and investor disappointment.
The Nasdaq and Amex biotechnology indices were both down roughly 1.3%, and the Amex pharmaceutical index was down 1.4%.
was among the biotechs in the red. The company beat estimates Wednesday post close, but found itself down $1.76, or 3.4%, at $50.04 on Thursday. The HIV drug specialist reported earning $522.1 million, or 54 cents a share, before items, in the first quarter, compared to $447.6 million, or 46 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue rose 22% to $1.26 billion. Results beat estimates of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial who'd expected earnings of 48 cents a share on $1.2 billion in revenue.
In other earnings news,
suffered from lost exclusivity of Norvasc and Zyrtec. The company earned $4 billion, or 61 cents a share, down from $4.8 billion, or 68 cents a share, in the 2007 period, on an adjusted basis. Revenue declined to $11.8 billion from $12.4 billion in the quarter. Results were short of the consensus estimate offered by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. They were looking for earnings of 66 cents a share on roughly $12 billion in revenue.
Pfizer's shares shed 82 cents, or 3.8%, to $20.30. Some of Pfizer's pharma peers,
were also on the downtick. Lilly, Bristol and AstraZeneca fell more than 2%, and Merck gave up 1.7%.
Also on the decline,
fell $5.64, or 16.7%, to $28.09 Thursday. The company said it earned $7.3 million, or 18 cents a share, in the first quarter vs. $5.9 million, or 15 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Sales increased 13% to $36.2 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had predicted 19 cents a share on $37 million in revenue.
The company reiterated its guidance for earnings of 72 to 75 cents a share on sales of between $140 million and $142 million in 2008. Analysts had pegged 75 cents a share on revenue of $141 million.
Elsewhere, Regulus, a joint venture between
announced a deal with
for microRNA, or small RNA that are thought to regulate genes linked to diseases like cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
Glaxo will pay the pair $20 million upfront in a $15 million option fee and a $5 million note that will convert into Regulus stock under the certain conditions. Regulus could receive up to $144.5 million in future milestones, and also tiered royalties, on sales on each of four targeted therapeutics.
Isis shares added 5.2% to $17.39, while Alnylam and Glaxo traded down 0.4% and 0.1%, respectively.