Updated from 2:36 p.m. EDTShares of Hospira ( HSP) were among the best-performing health-related stocks Thursday, rising 7% after the company posted first-quarter results that easily topped forecasts. The maker of hospital equipment posted earnings of $77.2 million, or 49 cents a share, on sales of $662.7 million. Excluding one-time items, the company would have earned 55 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 38 cents a share on sales of $610.9 million. A year ago the company earned $65 million, or 42 cents a share, on sales of $621.2 million. Looking ahead, Hospira backed its 2005 adjusted earnings of $1.53 to $1.60 a share on sales of about $2.5 billion. Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.63 a share on sales of $2.53 billion. Shares traded up $2.33 to $35.53. Mylan Laboratories ( MYL - Get Report) fell 1.8% after the company posted mixed fourth-quarter results. The drugmaker earned $38.1 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $316.4 million. Excluding items, the company would have earned 19 cents a share. Analysts were expecting earnings of 17 cents a share on sales of $330.6 million. A year ago the company earned $74.9 million, or 27 cents a share, on sales of $333.4 million. During the latest quarter, the company's branded segment posted sales of $57.5 million, down from $69.4 million a year ago. Unfavorable pricing on the company's Amnesteem product was responsible for most of the decline. Mylan's generic segment fell to $258.9 million from $264 million a year ago. Unfavorable pricing, along with price erosion, which was caused by increased competition, led to the year-over-year decline. Shares traded down 29 cents to $16.07. Shares of Cephalon fell 1% after the company announced the discontinuation of its phase II/III trial of CEP-1347 in Parkinson's disease. The company said that an independent data monitoring committee, which just completed a planned review of the interim results, concluded that the drug would not provide evidence of a significant effect. The drug, which was being developed in collaboration with H. Lundbeck, showed no safety concerns, the company said. "While we are disappointed with results of the trial," Cephalon said, "our collaboration with Lundbeck will continue as a valuable part of our ongoing research program in neurodegenerative disorders." Shares traded down 44 cents to $45.13.
BioMarin Pharmaceutical ( BMRN - Get Report) rose 8.1% after the company named Jean-Jacques Bienaime as its new chief executive, effective immediately. Bienaime, who will replace acting CEO Louis Drapeau, will also serve as a board member. Prior to joining BioMarin, Bienaime served as CEO at Genencor International. Shares traded up 52 cents to $6.98. Other health care volume movers included Elan ( ELN), up 37 cents to $7.79; Pfizer ( PFE), down 2 cents to $27.63; Amgen ( AMGN - Get Report), up 38 cents to $61.80; Merck ( MRK - Get Report), up 14 cents to $33.64; Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), down 30 cents to $67.65; Schering-Plough , down 2 cents to $20.37; Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ( TEVA), up 23 cents to $32.43; Genentech down $1.61 to $72.99; and Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX), down 1 cent to $13.39.