NEW YORK (
) -- Shares of
rose in late trades on Wednesday after the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based medical device company received a significant equipment order from
Hospital Management Associates
Mako Surgical said it's secured a binding commitment for 11
that use its proprietary Restoris implants for minimally invasive knee replacement procedures. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
The stock was last quoted at $23.54, up 9.8%, on volume of around 60,000, according to
. Based on a regular session close at $21.44, the shares have gained more than 60% in the past year, hitting a 52-week high of $22.65 on March 21. The shares have soared more than 130% since scraping a 52-week low of $9.28 on Oct. 5.
"This multi-system order represents the binding commitment to purchase RIO systems that were anticipated in our 2011 plan, allowing us to confidently reaffirm our previously announced annual guidance of 40 to 46 systems," said Maurice Ferre, the company's president and CEO, in a statement.
Mako Surgical is slated to report its fiscal first-quarter results on May 2, according to
data. The current average analysts' estimate is for a loss of 23 cents a share in the March period on revenue of $12.5 million. Of the six analysts covering the stock, four rate it at hold.
The systems included in HMA's order are expected to be set up over the course of 2011, Mako Surgical said.
was also making a splash after the closing bell as its shares rose on heavy volume after the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it's leaning toward backing coverage of the company's Provenge treatment for prostate cancer.
posted on its Web site this afternoon, the panel reviewing Provenge, which is said to cost $93,000, said it's found "adequate" evidence to conclude the drug "improves health outcomes" for men with advanced prostate cancer and should be covered.
The stock was last quoted at $36.48, up 2.6%, on volume of almost 1 million The shares finished regular trading at $35.54, down 1%, and were off a little less than 2% over the past year at that level.
The next step in the process is the public-commenting period with a final decision on coverage expected by June 30.
Analysts quickly issued positive commentary on Dendreon following the news. Roth Capital Partners reiterated its buy rating and 12-month price target of $55 on the stock.
"We believe the announcement removes another important overhang from the Dendreon story," the firm said, adding later: "Recall that major private payors are already on board with reimbursement for this first ever U.S. approved cancer immunotherapy. With this overhang removed, investors can now focus entirely on the execution story for Provenge sales."
Roth Capital said it recommends investors purchase the stock at current levels "as we believe Provenge will achieve blockbuster status." The firm notes that Dendreon has forecast Provenge revenue of between $350 million and $400 million in 2011 with half of that expected to come in the fourth quarter once manufacturing capacity ramps up, and says the company is in the process of increasing production capabilities by tenfold.
Collins Stewart echoed Roth Capital's call, reiterating its own buy rating and $55 price target. Of the 20 analysts covering Dendreon shares, 15 are at either strong buy (8) or buy (7).
fell in late trades following the
of David Sokol, one of Warren Buffett's top lieutenants.
The move was
called a surprise
by Buffett, and it coincided with disclosures about Sokol purchasing shares of
( LZ) ahead of Berkshire's announcement of an agreement to acquire the company earlier this month.
Shares of Berkshire fell 3% to $82.95 after the bell on volume of around 400,000. Based on a regular session close at $85.46, the stock is up 5% in the past year.
Written by Michael Baron in New York.
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