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Vanda Pharmaceuticals


surged 36.7% Wednesday after the Rockville, Md.-based company reported positive results in

advanced-stage clinical trials of its insomnia treatment VEC-162. The drug, a balanced melatonin receptor agonist, showed "statistically significant improvement" in patients suffering from insomnia in two separate measures of sleep onset, as well as in sleep maintenance and in total sleep time.

The primary endpoint of the trial -- the amount of time needed to fall into a deep sleep -- improved by an average of 26.3 minutes over that of patients taking a placebo in one of the three dosages administered. The drug is meant for patients suffering from circadian rhythm sleep disorders -- those in which the individual's desired sleep time doesn't align with his/her internal clock. Vanda says the disorder affects millions of Americans, with particular prevalence in the 14% of the populace who are shift workers. Shares were trading up $3.58 to $13.34.



soared on results that flew by Wall Street expectations. For the quarter ended Oct. 28 the display screen developer earned $8.9 million, or 22 cents a share, compared with $5.2 million, or 13 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were looking for earnings of 15 cents a share. Revenue was up 63% to $123.5 million, easily beating estimates of $98.4 million. Looking ahead, the Brookings, S.D.-based company expects third-quarter earnings to be between 12 cents to 18 cents a share and projects revenue of $103 million to $115 million. Shares were up $7, or 26.1%, to $33.62.


( EMBX) shares rocketed when the Durham, N.C.-based company announced it will

be acquired by Pfizer Animal Health, a division of biotech giant



. The deal is valued around $155 million, or $17 for each Embrex share, a 43% premium over Tuesday's closing price. Embrex is a biotech company best known for developing a system used to vaccinate over 80% of the poultry raised in North America against Marek's disease, a common chicken malady. Shares were up $4.73, or 39.7%, to $16.35.

AirTran Holdings

( AAI) shares jumped on a Bear Stearns upgrade to outperform from peer perform. Yesterday the Orlando, Fla.-based discount carrier announced that it will

partner with

Frontier Airlines

( FRNT) to create a joint low cost carrier referral and frequent flyer program. The two carriers expect the largely Web-based program to generate increased incremental revenue and to bring in new customers. Shares were up $2.08, or 18.8%, to $13.15.

Genesys Conferencing


sank on disappointing third-quarter earnings. The French conferencing services company earned only 41,000 euros -- about $51,000, or zero earnings per share -- compared with 1.4 million euros, or 8 céntimos a share, a year ago. Revenue was 34.1 million euros, or about $43.5 million, down 5.5% from a year ago. Shares were down 25 cents, or 14.7%, to $1.45.



fell on a downgrade by an analyst at Feltl & Co. to hold from buy. The news follows yesterday's third-quarter report which reflected widening losses. The Matthews, N.C.-based company lost $2.3 million, or 24 cents a share, compared with a loss of $871,000, or 12 cents a share, a year ago. Shares were down $1.22, or 9.4%, to $11.82.

Epiq Systems


slipped on third-quarter income that missed Wall Street estimates. The Kansas City, Kan.-based company, which supplies technology-based products and services for the legal and fiduciary services industries, posted non-GAAP income of $1 million, or 6 cents a share, compared with $5.3 million, or 28 cents a share, a year ago. The analyst who follows the company was looking for income of 19 cents a share.

The company's GAAP statements, while more positive, miss the estimate as well, reflecting an earnings jump to $22.9 million, or 13 cents a share, from $18.9 million, or 3 cents a share, a year ago. The company also restated its 2003-05 financials, although the revised numbers do not affect its cumulative revenue or income. Rather, they reflect a revenue deferral of about $66.1 million recognized from the fourth quarter of 2003 through the first quarter of 2006 arising from a single marketing arrangement with Bank of America. Still, shares were down 98 cents, or 6.2%, to $14.74.