First, Isis Pharma ( ISIS) was still on the uptick Tuesday after announcing Monday post-close
a deal with Genzyme ( GENZ) regarding mipomersen, a cholesterol drug. The deal involves an upfront payment of $325 million and a 50-50 split of profit once the drug clears $2 billion in sales. Before the drug reaches that benchmark, Genzyme will record 70% of profit. Shares rose more than 50% in after-market trading Monday and were up another $4.00, or 27.4%, to $18.58 today. Elsewhere, King Pharmaceuticals ( KG) said Tuesday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it has terminated its patent infringement lawsuit against CorePharma over the muscle relaxant Skelaxin. CorePharma's counter claims have also been ended. The companies signed a license agreement on January 2 that gave CorePharma certain rights to metaxalone 800 mg. King's shares were trading up $1.69, or 16.3% on Tuesday. Leap Wireless ( LEAP) surged 6.1% a day after the company said it added 152,000 customers during the fourth quarter of 2007, bringing total customer additions during the year to 634,000. Customer churn for the fourth quarter was 4.2%, and Leap ended the year with 2.86 million customers. Shares were up $2.32 to $40.16. Leap rival Metro PCS ( PCS) also gained $1.06, or 6.4%, to $17.53. The stock also was upgraded to buy from hold by an analyst at Soleil Securities. Leap's numbers suggest that that the slump in the subprime prepaid wireless segment has started to improve, which could bode well for Metro PCS too, said Soleil, which maintained its $26 price target on the stock.
Countrywide ( CFC) shares plummeted 28.4% in furious trading after speculation swirled that it would soon
file for bankruptcy . Countrywide denied the rumors, which briefly provided a modicum of relief, but that was short-lived as shares proceeded to drop below even their harrowing morning levels. They finished $2.17 lower at $5.47. New York broker Bear Stearns ( BSC) -- which, thanks to the credit crunch, has also had a rough few months -- saw shares drip steadily lower today after The Wall Street Journal reported that CEO James Cayne will step down from that position while staying on as chairman of the board. Cayne is but the latest in a line of financial-services firm executives who have been pushed out in the wake of miserable results from heavy exposure to the imploding mortgage market. Other noteworthy ousters include Chuck Prince from Citigroup ( C) and Stan O'Neil from Merrill Lynch ( MER). Bear shares surrendered $5.08, or 6.7%, to $71.17.