Anagram for Biogen (BGEN) : I B Gone.
And it was, after announcing first-quarter earnings of 77 cents a share. That number included gains from the sale of certain securities, which needs to be discounted to get an apples-to-apples figure that jibes with the way
First Call/Thomson Financial
lists analyst estimates.
So, how does that affect Biogen's earnings-per-share picture? Well, those gains account for 36 cents a share of Biogen's earnings picture -- dropping the true, no-gains-or-charges figure to 41 cents a share. That's lower than the 18-analyst estimate of 43 cents a share.
As a result of missing the estimate, Biogen was gone in after-hours trading, dropping 7 to 58 on 113,000 shares on
and 7 5/16 to 57 3/4 on 99,000 shares on
Earlier in the postclose session, the company wasn't that bad, trading in a range between 62 and 63 for most of the hour after the earnings release hit the wire. Then the bottom fell out, and Biogen hit the deck like a sandwich in a soggy paper bag.
fourth-quarter earnings beat estimates by a penny -- but those were different times. On Jan. 13, when those results were released, Biogen closed at 77 5/16.
Since that span, biotech has been one wild ride with Biogen sitting in the cockpit for much of the time. Both the stock and the
Nasdaq Biotechnology Index
, which tracks the industry as a whole, rushed out of January like a running back with a gaping hole in the defense. Both hit record highs in February and early March before the sellers swept in and took both out. Biogen hit a peak of 119 1/2 on Feb. 23 and has since been weaker. Much weaker.
Ahead of the earnings, Biogen slipped 2 1/16, or 3.1%, to 65. That's a level lower than where it stood when it released last quarter's earnings. Tonight's news won't help too much.
There's a connection in there somewhere. Especially after Motorola released its first-quarter earnings late in the postclose session, just after 5:30 p.m. EDT.
Earnings came in at 59 cents a share, edging the 27-analyst estimate by 1 cent. Tonight's penny-better performance keeps in line with recent releases.
Last quarter, the company beat estimates by that slimmest of margins.
Did that penny mean heaven for Motorola?
Not exactly. In composite trading, Motorola was a little higher, but the news attracted less interest than you'd probably expect. That's because the news hit so late in Instinet's session. After closing at 149 in New York, Motorola rose in composite trading and closed at 151. It didn't crack Instinet's top 20 most-active stocks.
Despite not crushing estimates, those earnings per share figures weren't awful -- more than double where they were in the year ago quarter at 26 cents. Sales were also up. The company announced that personal communications sales rose 24%, network systems sales rose 11%, while semiconductor product sales rose 24%.
And why was
as popular as both
were in the 1980s, trading on huge volumes on both Island and Instinet?
No, it's not a hit synthesizer-based single or talking cartoon robots. Tonight, the company announced that Robert Henry would be the nutritional supplement maker's new CEO.
Oh, OK. It's not really that either. Tonight, it became clear that blue-chip
held a 5 million share, or 20%, stake in the company.
As a result, other investors wanted to see what all the hubbub was about and sent it up 1/8 to 3 5/8 on 176,000 shares on Instinet and 1/4 to 3 13/16 on 472,000 shares on Island.
This information is provided by Instinet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reuters (RTRSY) . For further information, please contact Instinet at www.instinet.com.
Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.