St. Jude Medical ( STJ) posted lower third-quarter earnings amid charges and a drop in implantable defibrillator sales, but the results surpassed expectations. The medical-device maker earned $116 million, or 32 cents a share, compared with $168 million, or 44 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

St. Jude took a charge of $35 million, or 6 cents a share, related to the combination of its cardiac surgery and cardiology divisions and changes in its sales and customer-service operations. The company also recorded a charge of 3 cents a share on stock-based compensation. Excluding charges, St. Jude earned 41 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call expected earnings of 37 cents a share.

The St. Paul, Minn., company reported sales of $821 million, up 11% from $738 million a year earlier. The results beat analysts' target for sales of $819.2 million. The company's guidance, however, was slightly short of estimates. The company expects fourth-quarter earnings of 38 cents to 40 cents a share. Analysts, on average, project earnings of 41 cents a share. St. Jude was down 3% at $36.10.

Abbott ( ABT - Get Report) matched third-quarter targets and set a $2.5 billion stock buyback plan. The Abbott Park, Ill., pharmaceuticals giant also issued in-line guidance for the year. Abbott made $716 million, or 46 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from the year-ago $681 million, or 44 cents a share. Excluding certain costs, latest-quarter earnings were 58 cents a share, flat with a year ago and matching the Thomson Financial analyst consensus estimate.

Sales rose 3.5% from a year ago to $5.57 billion, beating the $5.48 billion Wall Street target. The company said it expects to make around 74 cents a share for the fourth quarter and $2.51 or so for the year, matching the Thomson Financial estimates. Shares of Abbott rose 1.5% to $47.88.

Siga ( SIGA - Get Report) soared 135% after the micro-cap biotech claimed its lead drug became "the first drug ever to demonstrate 100% protection against human smallpox virus in a primate trial conducted at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

"This test in non-human primates is as close as anyone can get to the real thing because there has not been any natural occurrence of smallpox since 1977," Siga said. The New York-based company said the Department of Homeland Security has designated smallpox a "material threat" to national security, so Siga-246 "will be eligible for purchase for the Strategic National Stockpile under Project Bioshield."

Shares of Siga rose $2.66 to $4.63.

The CEO of generic-drug manufacturer Teva Pharmaceutical ( symbol) is retiring next year. Israel Makov is stepping down as chief executive officer, and Shlomo Yanai, the CEO of Makhteshim Agan, an Israeli chemicals conglomerate, will replace him.

Teva shares were recently down 2.2% to $34.80.

Shares of Akzo Nobel ( AKZOY) a Dutch maker of human and animal health care products, sank 9.1% to $54.10 after the company said it may need to delay the launch of a schizophrenia treatment because of mixed results in clinical trials. The drug is being co-developed with Pfizer ( PFE - Get Report).

Hythiam rose 5.2% to $6.94 after the company said in a regulatory filing that it entered its first license agreement for third-party reimbursement of its Prometa treatment for alcohol and stimulant dependence.