Updated from 1:49 p.m. EDTTargeted Genetics ( TGEN) skyrocketed more than 66% Thursday after the biotech company swung to a fourth-quarter profit and sped past Street expectations. The Seattle-based company earned $808,000, or 8 cents a share, on revenue that more than doubled to $4 million. The company recorded a loss of $3.6 million, or 41 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The sole analyst's estimate called for a loss of 13 cents a share on $3.8 million in sales, according to Thomson Financial. Shares rose $1.70 to $4.27. Misonix ( MSON) jumped after the Farmingdale, N.Y., company's Sonablate 500 product successfully removed cancerous tissue from prostate-cancer patients in a Britain-based study. In the study of the high-intensity ultrasound technology, test subjects exhibited 100% continence and potency in follow-up exams. Specifics on the trial weren't provided. Shares of Misonix rose 43 cents, or 7.4%, to $6.22. Shares of etrials Worldwide ( ETWC) gained after two unnamed European pharmaceutical companies agreed to etrials' clinical-trial software and services for wide-ranging clinical studies on depression and gaucher disease. Shares of the Morrisville, N.C.-based company climbed 33 cents, or 7.4%, to $4.82. KMG America ( KMA) lost 43.8% after A.M. Best cut the life-insurer's outlook to negative from stable, despite reiterating its A- (or excellent) financial-strength rating. The Minneapolis-based company said this may prevent it from competing in certain markets, and that it's "no longer comfortable" with prior 2007 earnings guidance until it finishes a review of the full consequences. Shares were down $3.80 to $4.87.
Instituform Technologies ( INSU) was plunging 22.8% on two pieces of news. The Chesterfield, Mo., construction company was downgraded to sell from hold by Stifel Nicolaus after predicting lower 2007 earnings year over year, citing a lack of growth in the general sewer-pipeline-rehabilitation market. The company will also take a $21 million pretax charge (or 48 cents a share after taxes) in order to exit the tunneling business, most of which will be incurred in the first half of the year. The liquidation value of all related assets is estimated at $20 million, at most. Shares slid $5.90 to $20.00. CuraGen ( CRGN) tumbled on word Roche will buy its majority-owned unit 454 Life Sciences. The Branford, Conn., biotech will receive $140 million in cash and up to some $14.9 million in stock options, which pans out at roughly $85 million on a fully diluted basis. The deal should close in the second quarter. Shares were off 77 cents, or 20.1%, to $3.07.