Shares of Medicines Co. ( MDCO) were among the worst-performing health-related stocks Thursday, falling 22% after the drug developer cut its 2005 earnings and sales forecast.

The company now expects a full-year loss of $10 million on sales of $150 million. Previously, the company predicted it would post a profit at the lower end of a $24 million to $31 million range, with sales expected to come in at the lower end of $195 million to $204 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had been expecting earnings of 34 cents a share on sales of $184.2 million.

As for the third quarter, Medicine Co. expects a loss of $10 million on sales of $30 million. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 8 cents a share on sales of $45.2 million. "In a sluggish cath lab market, Angiomax hospital sales have grown by 42% this year compared to last year, but we are about $19 million below our ambitious hospital sales plan for 2005," the company said. "In addition, we believe that wholesaler changes will strengthen our future performance and that the benefits outweigh the short-term pain." Shares were trading down $4.82 to $17.11.

Wright Medical ( WMGI) fell modestly after the maker of orthopedic devices announced the resignation of its chief executive officer. Laurence Fairey is leaving the company to pursue other interests, the company said. Fairey's resignation comes just two days after the company warned that third-quarter results would fall below expectations. Barry Bays, Wright Medical's current executive chairman, will serve as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is found. Both moves are effective immediately. Shares were trading down 17 cents to $19.03.

Shares of AMN Healthcare Services ( AHS) rose 5% after the health-care staffing company said it plans to acquire MHA Group for $160 million plus an earn-out provision that's likely to be about $38 million, but no less than $35 million. The deal consists of 75% in cash and 25% in stock. The transaction, which is expected to close during the fourth quarter, will add to fourth-quarter earnings and also will be accretive to fiscal 2006 earnings. The combined company would have posted pro forma sales of about $889 million for the period ended June 30. AMN shares were trading up 79 cents to $15.61.

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