Analyst actions and earnings marred a few health stocks on a largely flat Friday for the sector ahead of a holiday weekend. BioScrip ( BIOS) was trading up 41 cents, or 6.7%, at $6.58 after Broadpoint Capital upgraded the stock to buy from neutral. "In our view, BIOS shares are cheap by nearly any measure. Acute downward pressure on the shares seems unwarranted, as we expect 4Q:07 results to reflect a continuation of recent financial and operations progress," wrote Broadpoint's Glenn Garmont in a note to investors on Friday. Also falling, Vision-Sciences ( VSCI) announced that it reached an agreement with Pentax, resolving pending disputes and dismissing all related legal proceedings over pricing, volume and delivery schedules for items supplied by Pentax. It's also delaying of the filing and release of its third-quarter earnings, and release of its results for the first nine months of fiscal 2008, due to the recent resignation of the company's newly-hired controller. Shares were trading down 77 cents, or 19.6%, at $3.16. Elsewhere, American Medical Systems ( AMMD) suffered a downgrade Friday but was trading up $1.61, or 12.2%, at $14.81. On Thursday post-close the company reported a fourth-quarter loss after a profit in the year-ago period but beat analyst expectations on an adjusted basis excluding legal and technology licensing charges. American Medical expects to earn between 84 cents and 99 cents a share on an adjusted basis, on revenue of between $500 million and $520 million for 2008, while analysts polled by Thomson Financial were looking for 69 cents a share on $522.8 million. RBC Capital downgraded the stock to sector perform from outperform on Friday. More earnings: Drug ingredient company Cambrex ( CBM) saw shares dip 5% to $9.90 Friday after it announced that it swung to a profit but missed earnings expectations Thursday post close. The company earned $780,000, or 3 cents a share, on revenue of $69.8 million, vs. a loss of $25.4 million, or 94 cents a share, in the year-prior period. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial predicted 13 cents a share on revenue of $67 million. Ultrasound device company SonoSite ( SONO) said its fourth-quarter earnings were marred by expenses. The company earned $4.3 million, or 25 cents a share, down from $5.8 million, or 34 cents a share, in the year-ago period. SonoSite reported quarterly revenue of $64.8 million, vs. $54.4 million in 2006. Profit fell shy of the Thomson Financial consensus target of 30 cents a share on revenue of $63.7 million. And shares declined $2.89, or 8.2%, to $32.04, Friday. Biopharmaceutical company Xenoport ( XNPT) also saw shares fall Friday after its Thursday post-close earnings release. The company reported net income of $2.5 million, or 9 cents a share, vs. a loss of $18.6 million, or 76 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue in the recent quarter was positively affected by upfront and milestone payments from GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK), Astellas Pharma and Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals, increasing to $25.8 million from $3.1 million in the year-ago quarter. Shares were down $3.40, or 5.6%, at $57.11. The stock is a component of the Nasdaq biotechnology index, which was down 8.62, or 1%, at 793.96.
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).