AVI BioPharma, Saba: Volume Movers

BOSTON (TheStreet) -- AVI BioPharma (AVII) was one of several stocks trading near $5 poised to move on above-average volume Wednesday after the company said it received a government contract for up to $291 million.

AVI BioPharma shares rose after the U.S. Department of Defense Chemical and Biological Defense Program awarded the company a new contract for up to approximately $291 million total for the development of AVI's hemorrhagic fever virus therapeutic candidates for Ebola and Marburg viruses.

AVI BioPharma said the contract is the largest ever awarded as part of the U.S. Department of Defense Transformational Medical Technologies program.

Shares of AVI BioPharma jumped by 16 cents, or 8.7%, to $2 in the premarket session. The average daily share volume for AVI is 1.73 million.

Elsewhere, Boston Scientific ( BSX) shares rose by 8 cents, or 1.3%, to $6.35 in Tuesday's late trading session after the company notched a second-quarter adjusted profit of 12 cents a share on revenue of $1.9 billion, compared to the Thomson Reuters average estimate for earnings of 3 cents a share on revenue of $1.91 billion.

Looking ahead, Boston Scientific raised its 2010 guidance, saying it now expects full-year adjusted earnings of 54 cents to 62 cents a share, up from its previous range of 50 cents to 60 cents a share. The average daily share volume for Boston Scientific is 21.37 million.

Meanwhile, First BanCorp ( FBP) shares slumped by 3 cents, or 5.9%, to 50 cents in Tuesday's after-hours session after the company said it has completed a preferred stock swap with the Treasury Department. First BanCorp issued new Series G convertible preferred stock to the Treasury in exchange for Series F preferred stock.

The Treasury Department has the right to convert the Series G preferred stock into 380.2 million shares of common stock, First BanCorp said. The average daily share volume for First BanCorp is 3.99 million.

Saba Software ( SABA) shares should also see increased volume after the company posted a fiscal fourth-quarter adjusted profit of 8 cents a share, a penny better than analysts had predicted. Revenue of $29.6 million was also above estimates.

Looking ahead, Saba said it expects full-year earnings of 34 cents to 38 cents a share on revenue of $121 million to $124 million. The average of two analysts' estimates is for earnings of 38 cents a share on revenue of $117.9 million.The average daily share volume for Saba is 96,000.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

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