Shares of ViroPharma ( VPHM) were among the best-performing health-related stocks Monday, rising 11% after the pharmaceutical company posted third-quarter earnings and sales that trounced Wall Street expectations. The company earned $18.7 million, or 31 cents a share, on sales of $35.8 million. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 21 cents a share and sales of $29.5 million. In the year-ago quarter, the company had a loss of $3.3 million, or 13 cents a share, on sales of $398,000. The company attributed the improved results to Vancocin, a colitis treatment. Vancocin had third-quarter sales of $35.7 million, with prescriptions up 36% from the year-earlier period. ViroPharma increased its full-year Vancocin sales projection to $120 million to $123 million from its August forecast of $100 million to $105 million. Analysts expect sales of $119.8 million. Shares recently were trading up $2.27 to $23.26. Dendreon ( DNDN) climbed 8% after the company's Provenge prostate cancer treatment received fast-track status from the Food and Drug Administration. The designation, given for drugs that address an unmet medical need and treat life-threatening conditions, allows Dendreon to submit its biologics license application for Provenge on a rolling basis. Shares rose 45 cents to $6.03. Shares of China Medical Technologies ( CMED) rose 10% after the medical device company posted large year-over-year gains in second-quarter earnings and sales. China Medical earned $5.3 million, or 22 cents per American depositary share, on sales of $10.9 million. Earnings during the recent period jumped 61.3% while sales increased by 81.6%. The lone analyst forecast called for earnings of 19 cents a share and sales of $10.4 million. "The strong growth of our sales of the ECLIA system since its introduction in September 2004 contributed to the substantial year-over-year growth in both our net revenues and net income for the quarter," the company said.
China Medical sees full-year earnings of $21.6 million to $23.5 million, and sales of $44.5 million to $49.4 million. One analyst polled by First Call projects earnings of $22.8 million on sales of $46.8 million. The company's shares gained $2.19 to $24.45. Misonix ( MSON) slumped 24% after the ultrasonic medical systems maker reported that it swung to a first-quarter loss. The company reported a loss of $1.3 million, or 19 cents a share, reversing a year-earlier profit of $416,000, or 6 cents a share. Sales dropped to $9.1 million from $10.5 million a year earlier. Medical device sales fell 16% to $5 million, while lab and scientific product sales fell 10% to $4.1 million. Shares were trading down $1.48 to $4.79. Other health care volume movers included Pfizer ( PFE), down 4 cents to $22.22; Guidant ( GDT), down $1.83 to $57.09; Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), up 2 cents to $60.90; Amgen ( AMGN), up 83 cents to $80.02; Imclone Systems ( IMCL), up $1.54 to $32.39; Merck ( MRK), up 12 cents to $29.34; UnitedHealth Group ( UNH), up 51 cents to $58.53; Novavax ( NVAX), up 7 cents to $3.99; and Schering-Plough ( SGP), down 17 cents to $19.86.