Health Stocks in Motion

Updated from 1:47 p.m. EDT

Shares of DJ Orthopedics ( DJO) were among the worst-performing health and pharmaceutical stocks Wednesday after the company reported in-line third-quarter financial results but warned that fourth-quarter sales would fall short of expectations.

Excluding items, the medical device company posted a profit of 21 cents a share on sales of $63.2 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had expected it to earn 21 cents a share on sales of $63.7 million. Looking ahead, it expects to post fourth-quarter sales of $63.5 million to $65.5 million, reflecting a business transition that will pressure gross margins and sales from its Regentek division. Analysts were looking for sales of $66.4 million. Shares of DJ Orthopedics traded down $1.65, or 8.6%, to $17.45.

Applied Biosystems ( ABI) rose after it posted stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter financial results and said that first-quarter earnings would be flat to slightly up vs. the year-ago period. Excluding items, the life sciences company earned 27 cents a share during the fourth quarter on sales of $460.5 million. Analysts had expected it to earn 25 cents a share on sales of $457.4 million. Looking ahead, it said that first-quarter earnings would be equal to or slightly above last year's first-quarter results of 16 cents a share. Analysts were looking for it to earn 18 cents a share. Shares of Applied Biosystems traded up 85 cents, or 4.4%, to $20.20.

Shares of Bentley Pharmaceuticals ( BNT) fell after the company reported weaker-than-expected second-quarter financial results. The specialty pharmaceutical company earned 7 cents a share on sales of $18.5 million. Analysts had expected it to earn 8 cents a share on sales of $19.3 million. Looking ahead, it reiterated its full-year sales outlook of $70 million to $80 million. Analysts are looking for it to post sales of $78.7 million. Shares of Bentley Pharmaceuticals traded down $1.38, or 11.1%, to $11.02.

Dade Behring ( DADE) rose after it posted stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings and sales. The clinical diagnostics company earned 48 cents a share during the second quarter on sales of $389 million. Analysts had expected it to earn 40 cents a share on sales of $386.1 million. Shares of Dade Behring traded up $4.16, or 9.7%, to $46.87.

Shares of Community Health Systems ( CYH) fell after the hospital operator filed a $1 billion shelf registration. In addition to the convertible debt and common stock the company may sell, Forstmann Little & Co. -- the company's largest shareholder -- could sell the remaining 23.1 million shares of stock it owns. Forstmann's stock position represents about 23.4% of Community's outstanding shares. Shares of Community Health Systems traded down 95 cents, or 3.7%, to $25.05.

Other health care volume movers included Teva Pharmaceutical ( TEVA), down $1.13 to $28.49; Pfizer ( PFE), down 48 cents to $31.62; Amgen ( AMGN), up $1.09 to $57; and Schering-Plough ( SGP), down 74 cents to $19.24.

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