Earnings continued to dominate the action in health stocks Thursday. Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY) said that before items, it earned $764 million, or 38 cents a share, up from $438 million, or 22 cents a share, in the 2006 period. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected 37 cents a share on revenue of $5.02 billion. The company also lowered full-year 2007 guidance to between $1.28 and $1.33 a share from between $1.35 and $1.45 a share, a change that reflects a charge for in-process research and development related to its Adnexus acquisition. On a non-GAAP basis, it raised guidance to between $1.42 and $1.47 vs. a prior forecast of $1.35 to $1.45 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expect $1.44 a share in 2007. Bristol shares gained 94 cents, or 3.3%, at $29.36. Abaxis ( ABAX), which makes portable blood analysis systems, reported that its profit rose 37% to $2.9 million, or 13 cents a share, from $2.1 million, or 10 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Meanwhile, it surpassed revenue expectations with a 20% increase to $25.2 million from $21 million in the 2006 period. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for 14 cents a share on revenue of $23.7 million. Shares rose $5.19, or 21.5%, to $29.38. In the other direction, Celgene ( CELG) was trading down $5.96, or 8.5%, to $64.22, after missing expectations for revenue and sales but beating per-share earnings estimates. On an adjusted basis, the company earned $124.1 million, or 29 cents a share, vs. $59.4 million, or 15 cents a share, in 2006. The Thomson Financial consensus target was 28 cents a share on revenue of $368 million.
Stocks soar as the gross domestic product rises at an annualized rate of 3.5% in the third quarter and continuing jobless claims fall. Gregg Greenberg recaps the action in The Real Story video (above).