Biotech stocks took to both directions Thursday, but speculation and earnings weren't enough to ameliorate the midweek sag. In collaboration news, Amicus Therapeutics ( FOLD) announced a deal with Shire ( SHPGY) to develop Amicus' three lead compounds for rare genetic disorders Pompe disease, Goucher's disease and Fabry disease. Shares rose 67 cents, or 4.2%, to $16.75. Also, Biogen Idec ( BIIB) shares gained $3.86, or 5.4%, to $74.99 after The Financial Times' dealReporter raised speculation about likely bidders for the biotech company, namely, Pfizer ( PFE), Merck ( MRK) and Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ). Elsewhere, earnings ruled (and sometimes ruined) the day. King Pharma ( KG) reported net earnings (excluding items) of $128 million, or 52 cents a share, during the third quarter, compared to net earnings of $106 million, or 44 cents a share, in a year ago. Total revenue increased 11% to $545 million, surpassing the Thomson Financial consensus target of 45 cents a share on revenue of $528.4 million. Shares added $1.37, or 13.6%, to $11.42. King is a component of the Amex Pharmaceutical index, which was essentially flat. Noven Pharmaceuticals ( NOVN) reported a net loss of $59 million, or $2.38 a share, including the impact of the charges (namely a $100.2 million charge for the acquisition of JDS Pharmaceuticals). Excluding charges and related tax-effects, the company said net income for the current quarter would have been $7.6 million, or 30 cents a share, compared to $5 million, or 20 cents a share, a year ago. Noven reported net revenue increased 39% to $21.8 million. The Thomson Financial consensus target was 17 cents a share on revenue of $23.5 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).