Updated from 2:52 p.m. EST with new stock prices

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.

Noven shares rose $1.24, or 9.2%, to $14.75.

Wednesday after close, Somaxon Pharmaceuticals ( SOMX) reported a net loss of $5.7 million, or 31 cents a share, vs. $9.8 million, or 55 cents a share, for the year-ago quarter. Analysts were expecting a loss closer to 39 cents a share for the quarter, and JP Morgan upgraded the stock to neutral from underweight on Thursday. Shares garnered 89 cents, or 15.5%, to $6.65.

Less fortunate Thursday was Abraxis BioScience ( ABBI), which reported adjusted third-quarter earnings of $23.1 million, or 15 cents a share, in the recent quarter, compared to $16.7 million, or 10 cents a share, in the year-ago period. And the company reported revenue of $241 million, vs. $203.1 million in the 2006 quarter, falling shy of estimates of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial who expected 22 cents a share, on revenue of $253.9 million. Shares fell $2.29, or 9.5%, to $21.93.

Also, Corcept ( CORT) gave up 49 cents, or 15.2%, to $2.75. The company reported a third-quarter loss of $3.4 million, or 9 cents a share, vs. a loss of $6.4 million, or 28 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The consensus target was for a loss of 9 cents a share.

And hitting a new 52-week low, BioCryst ( BCRX) aired its results as well. The company reported revenue of $20.5 million vs. $1.8 million in the year-ago quarter, and a net loss of $11 million, or 32 cents a share, compared to a loss of $15.6 million, or 53 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. The consensus target was a loss of 28 cents a share on revenue of $10.51 million. Shares declined 72 cents, or 9.4%, to $6.95.

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