Healthcare Review: Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Cell Therapeutics, Arena Pharma Are Top Movers Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 14:42
U.S. stocks jumped on Wednesday thanks to strength in the housing sector, as energy stocks threatened to pull the market lower with oil futures tumbling. Earlier in the day, the National Association of Realtors said sales rose 7.8% in August to seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million, better than the 4.6 million expected by economists. Several healthcare stocks are making notable news at mid day on Wednesday.

St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE:STJ) stock climbed 0.30% to $43.03 after the shares of STJ was upgraded by analysts at Wells Fargo & Co. from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors today. The company has a 52 week low of $32.13 and a 52 week high of $44.80.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOR)
stock plunged 28.84% to $36.30 after Aetna Inc. said it would limit coverage of one of the company’s two marketed drugs, the H.P. Acthar medicine for multiple sclerosis and infant seizures. The company’s second-quarter sales more than doubled to $112.5 million, primarily reflecting expanded use of Acthar.

Additionally, analysts at Oppenheimer raised their price target on shares of Questcor from $59.00 to $69.00 in a research report issued to clients and investors yesterday. The firm currently has an “outperform” rating on the stock.

Cell Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:CTIC)
stock dropped 2.08% to $2.82. The company regains compliance with the NASDAQ stock exchange's minimum bid price requirement owing to a one-for-five reverse stock split it executed earlier this month.

Additionally, the company last week said that it has launched its recently approved oncology drug Pixuvri in the EU. Pixuvri was approved by EU regulators in May for the treatment of aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or NHL. Approximately 37,000 new cases of aggressive B-cell NHL are diagnosed in the EU every year.

Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA)
shares fell 0.22% to $9.24 after Vivus announced the commercial launch of its weight-loss pill Qsymia Monday, beating rival Arena Pharmaceuticals to first reach the bulging waistbands of obese Americans. Arena and its marketing partner Eisai are expected to launch Belviq early next year.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Int (USA) (NYSE:VRX)
shares gained 0.50% to $55.82. VRX stock was downgraded by analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors last week.

Additionally, the company, on Sept. 14, announced plans to syndicate an additional $1,000,000,000 of incremental term B loans under existing senior secured credit facilities. The incremental term B loans will be used to provide a portion of the financing for Valeant's anticipated acquisition of all of the outstanding common stock of Medicis Pharmaceutical Corporation.

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