Updated from 2:25 p.m. ESTShares of CTI Molecular Imaging ( CTMI) were among the best-performing health-related stocks Tuesday, rising 17.9% after the company posted first-quarter results that easily topped expectations. The diagnostic imaging technology company posted a first-quarter profit of 8 cents a share on sales of $111.5 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 4 cents a share on sales of $89.1 million. Looking ahead, CTI forecast second-quarter earnings of 8 cents to 10 cents a share on sales of $110 million to $115 million. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 11 cents a share on sales of $103.2 million. For the full year, the company forecast earnings of 54 cents to 56 cents a share on sales of $440 million to $450 million. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 51 cents a share on sales of $428.1 million. Shares traded up $2.63 to $17.36. Discovery Laboratories ( DSCO) fell 22.1% after the company said the expected launch for its Surfaxin drug, assuming the drug is approved, would be delayed until the fourth quarter because of deficiencies that were uncovered by the Food and Drug Administration during an inspection. The inspection of Laureate Pharma -- Discovery's contract manufacturer -- turned up issues related to basic quality controls, process assurances, and documentation requirements that support the commercial production processes, Discovery said. The company believes the issues "are highly correctable in a reasonable period of time and do not relate to any clinical material produced to date," it said. The company expects the problems to be corrected by July 2005. Finally, Discovery Labs expects to receive the FDA's review of its new drug application for Surfaxin on or about Feb. 13 as well as more information about the inspection of Laureate Pharma. Shares traded down $1.72 to $6.07. Shares of Boston Scientific ( BSX - Get Report) rose 5.3% after the company posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat expectations by a penny. Excluding items, the medical device maker posted a profit of $419 million, or 49 cents a share, on sales of $1.6 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 48 cents a share on sales of $1.56 billion. A year ago the company earned $141 million, or 17 cents a share, on sales of $939 million. The recent quarter benefited from a huge jump in coronary stent sales, which jumped to $730 million, an increase of 374%. Looking ahead, Boston Scientific expects 2005 earnings of $2 to $2.20 a share on sales of $6.4 billion to $6.7 billion. Analysts are expecting earnings of $2.17 a share on sales of $6.58 billion. For 2006, the company expects earnings of $2.17 to $2.50 a share on sales of $6.9 billion to $7.5 billion. Analysts are expecting earnings of $2.42 a share on sales of $7.13 billion. Shares traded up $1.75 to $34.81.
Sierra Health Services ( SIE) rose 6.3% after the operator of HMOs and medical groups posted a fourth-quarter profit that came in ahead of expectations and raised its 2005 earnings guidance. The company earned $28 million, or 83 cents a share, on sales of $332.7 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 77 cents a share. Results during the fourth quarter included a $9.2 million gain in the company's military health services operations and an expense of $9.5 million related to the company's workers' compensation insurance business, which it sold. Looking ahead, Sierra now expects 2005 earnings of $3.20 to $3.30 a share, up from previous guidance of $3.15 to $3.25 a share. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $3.27 a share. Shares traded up $3.47 to $58.40. Other health care movers included Pfizer ( PFE - Get Report), down 30 cents to $23.86; Aastrom Biosciences ( ASTM), up 26 cents to $3.65; Merck ( MRK - Get Report), down 22 cents to $27.83; Wyeth ( WYE), down 63 cents to $39; StemCells ( STEM), down 36 cents to $4.55; Schering-Plough ( SGP), up 43 cents to $18.99; Amgen ( AMGN), up 29 cents to $62.53; and Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), up 72 cents to $65.42.