Shares of Symmetry Medical ( SMA) were among the worst-performing health-related stocks Thursday, falling 24% after the provider of orthopedic products posted mixed third-quarter results and lowered its full-year earnings outlook.

For the third quarter, the company earned $8.2 million, or 24 cents a share, on sales of $67.2 million. Excluding one-time items, the company would have earned 23 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 24 cents a share on sales of $64.9 million. In the year-ago period, Symmetry earned $2 million, or 12 cents a share, on sales of $54.1 million.

Looking ahead, Symmetry Medical now expects full-year earnings of 90 cents to 92 cents a share. The guidance includes a charge of 2 cents a share. Excluding the charge, the company sees earnings of 92 cents to 94 cents a share. Previously, the company forecast earnings, before the charge, of 93 cents to 96 cents a share. Despite cutting its earnings forecast, the company raised its sales target to $258 million to $261 million from its previous guidance of $253 million to $259 million. Analysts expect 2005 earnings of 95 cents a share on sales of $262.6 million. Shares were trading down $5.55 to $17.20.

Syneron Medical ( ELOS) rose 4% after the medical device maker posted better-than-anticipated third-quarter results and lifted its 2005 sales guidance. For the third quarter, the company earned $14.6 million, or 53 cents a share, well above analysts' mean estimate of 37 cents a share. Year-ago earnings were $7.3 million, or 29 cents a share. Sales rose to $25 million from $14.9 million a year earlier, and beat Wall Street's expectation of $22.4 million.

Syneron now sees full-year sales of $91 million to $92 million, up from its previous view of $84 million to $85 million. Analysts had forecast sales of $87.2 million.

Syneron elevated Chief Financial Officer David Schlachet to chief executive. He'll replace Moshe Mizrahy, who served as CEO from 2001. The company's shares were trading up $1.54 to $40.09.

Shares of Becton Dickinson ( BDX - Get Report) rose 9% after the medical device company posted fiscal fourth-quarter results that beat expectations. The company earned $149.1 million, or 58 cents a share, on sales of $1.38 billion. Excluding stock-based compensation expense and other items, the company would have earned 83 cents a share. Analysts expected earnings of 70 cents a share, before items, on sales of $1.35 billion. A year earlier, the company earned $67.4 million, or 26 cents a share, on sales of $1.25 billion. Excluding items, the company would have earned 70 cents a share a year ago.

For the first quarter ending in December, Becton Dickinson sees earnings of 74 cents to 75 cents a share, compared with analysts' mean estimate of 75 cents. The company projects fiscal 2006 earnings of $3.15 to $3.19 a share, above Wall Street's projection of $3.14. Shares were trading up $4.51 to $56.26.

ResMed ( RMD - Get Report) rose 5% after the company posted first-quarter results that topped forecasts. The company, a maker of medical equipment for breathing disorders, earned $16.4 million, or 23 cents a share. Excluding items, the company earned $20.7 million, or 28 cents a share. Analysts expected earnings of 26 cents a share, before items. The company posted sales of $127.1 million, beating Wall Street's forecast of $115.4 million. Year-ago adjusted earnings, which exclude items, were $15.1 million, or 21 cents a share, on sales of $87.7 million. ResMed shares traded up $1.77 to $39.37.

Shares of HealthTronics ( HTRN) slumped 22% after the medical device maker reported third-quarter results that fell below expectations and lowered its full-year earnings outlook. The company earned $3.4 million, or 10 cents a share, on sales of $69.5 million. Excluding items, the company would have earned $4.1 million, or 12 cents a share. Analysts expected earnings of 14 cents a share and sales of $70.8 million. For the year-ago period, earnings before items were $2.7 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $46.4 million.

HealthTronics now sees full-year earnings, excluding items, of 50 cents to 52 cents a share, down from its previous guidance of 52 cents to 54 cents a share. Analysts had projected earnings of 52 cents a share. Shares fell $2 to $7.08.

Other health care volume movers included Pfizer ( PFE - Get Report), up 17 cents to $21.77; Abgenix ( ABGX), up $3.62 to $12.99; Merck ( MRK), up $1.23 to $29.64; Guidant ( GDT), down $3.37 to $57.03; Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), down 18 cents to $61.12; UnitedHealth Group ( UNH), down $1.66 to $57.91; Imclone Systems ( IMCL), down $7.35 to $28.76; Amgen ( AMGN), up $3.23 to $77.13; Novavax ( NVAX), up 5 cents to $4.04; and Schering-Plough ( SGP), down 3 cents to $19.78.