Updated from 2:09 p.m. EDT ID Biomedical ( IDBE) was among the best-performing health and biotech stocks Tuesday after claiming that a field study of its nasal flu vaccine showed the product worked better than a placebo. The Vancouver, B.C.-based company said that among healthy subjects in the Canadian study, three of 451 people receiving one dose of its FluInSure spray came down with influenza, while nine of 443 people receiving a placebo got sick. The company hopes to start U.S. trial of a preservative-free version of the product next year. The stock traded up $2.51, or 32%, to $10.35. Orthofix ( OFIX) fell after it warned that second-quarter financial results would be below analysts' expectations. Citing reduced reimbursements, weaker sales and lower gross margins, it now expects to earn 49 cents to 51 cents a share on sales of $70.8 million, vs. previous guidance of 59 cents to 62 cents a share on sales of $73 million to $73.8 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had expected it to earn 61 cents a share on sales of $73.7 million. Shares of Orthofix traded down $4.40, or 11.3%, to $34.58. Shares of Novartis ( NVS) rose after reporting better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and sales. The company earned 63 cents a share on sales of $6.97 billion. Analysts had expected it to earn 59 cents a share on sales of $6.92 billion. Strong pharmaceutical and specialty medicine products fueled its second-quarter results. Shares of Novartis traded up $2.42, or 5.6%, to $45.72.
Matria Healthcare ( MATR) rose after the company said it expects second-quarter earnings to top analysts' expectations. Previously, it said that it expected to earn 16 cents to 21 cents a share during the second quarter on sales of $91 million to $93 million. It now expects to exceed earnings of 21 cents a share. In addition to the upbeat guidance, it also announced that a previously disclosed class-action lawsuit filed against the company has been dismissed. Shares of Matria Healthcare traded up $2.99, or 12.8%, to $26.39. Shares of NeoPharm ( NEOL) got a boost Tuesday after announcing that Gregory P. Young officially assumed the CEO position, effective July 12. In June, the company announced that Young would replace James M. Hussey, who resigned to pursue other opportunities. Young previously worked at Baxter Healthcare, where he served as vice president. Before that, he served as president of Baxter's Transfusion Therapies division. Shares of NeoPharm traded up 77 cents, or 10.1%, to $8.41. Other health care volume movers included Boston Scientific ( BSX), down $1.45 to $34.70; Pfizer ( PFE), up 22 cents to $32.33; Forest Labs ( FRX), down $2.30 to $50.20; Amgen ( AMGN), up $1.39 to $57; Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), down 9 cents to $56.31; and Schering-Plough ( SGP), up 9 cents to $18.79.