Healthcare Review: Healthways, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, GTx, EXACT Sciences Corporation, Intuitive Surgical Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Friday, 19 April 2013 13:25
Most U.S. stocks edged higher on Friday, bouncing back a day after the S&P 500 index closed below its 50-day moving average for the first time this year, but a sharp drop in IBM shares kept the Dow in the red. Trading volume could see a decline as much of Boston, a major U.S. financial center and home to a number of the country's biggest mutual fund companies, was under virtual lock-down after police killed one suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing in a shootout and mounted house-to-house searches for a second man.

Following are notable movers are mid day on Friday:

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ:VRTX) shares soared 57.90% to $83.27. The company on April 18 said data from a mid-stage trial showed significant improvements in lung function among adults with the most common type of the cystic fibrosis, validating the company's research strategy on the disease.

The drug, called VX-661, is still years away from coming to market; however, its results give confidence about another cystic fibrosis drug, VX-809, that is similar in function and is much closer to FDA approval.

Healthways, Inc. (NASDAQ:HWAY) stock jumped 16.97% to $12.89. Analysts at Stifel Nicolaus upped their price target on shares of HWAY from $13.00 to $19.00 in a research report issued to clients and investors on April 19. The firm currently has a “buy” rating on the stock.

Additionally, the company on April 18 announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013. Total revenues for the quarter were $165.2 million, level with revenues of $165.2 million for the first quarter of 2012. There was a net loss for the first quarter of 2013 of $3.9 million, or $0.12 per share, compared with a net loss of $2.7 million, or $0.08 per share, for the first quarter of 2012.

GTx, Inc. (NASDAQ:GTXI) stock jumped 8.67% to $4.74. The company, on April 15, announced that a per protocol safety review of unblinded safety data on Friday April 12, 2013, by an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), resulted in a determination that GTx continue as planned its two pivotal Phase III clinical trials of enobosarm (GTx-024) for the prevention and treatment of muscle wasting in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Additionally, the company announced that it will host a conference call and webcast to provide a corporate update and discuss the Company's first quarter 2013 financial results on Friday May 3 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

EXACT Sciences Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAS) shares increased 7.36% to $9.50. The company on April 18 said its molecular screening test for colorectal cancer met a late-stage trial goal of detecting the disease in more patients than other commonly used tests, but shares plummeted as the results were not as robust as some were expecting.

Exact's test, which identifies abnormal DNA in cells shed in a patient's stool, detected 92 percent of colorectal cancers and 42 percent of pre-cancerous polyps in a large late-stage study.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) shares decreased 4.11% to $473.07. The company on April 18 reported first quarter net income of $188.9 million or $4.56 per share, higher than $143.5 million or $3.50 per share in the prior-year quarter. Analysts expected the company to report earnings of $3.99 per share for the quarter. Total revenues for the quarter grew 23 percent to $611.4 million from $495.2 million in the same quarter last year, and topped analysts' consensus estimate of $582.80 million.

Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE:WY) shares gained 2.12% to $29.91. The company announced Adrian M. Blocker will join Weyerhaeuser as Vice President of Lumber, effective May 1, 2013. Blocker's appointment follows Robert Taylor's planned retirement from the company in May.

Additionally, the company will release first quarter 2013 results on Friday, April 26, before the market opens. The company will hold a live conference call at 7 a.m. Pacific (10 a.m. Eastern) the same day to discuss results.

Moreover, the company on April 11 announced that its board of directors has authorized an 18 percent increase in the company's regular quarterly cash dividend, from $0.17 per share to $0.20 per share. The board declared a dividend of $0.20 per share on the common stock of the corporation, payable May 31, 2013, to shareholders of record at the close of business May 10, 2013.

Expedia Inc(NASDAQ:EXPE) shares increased 2.79% to $62.18. The company will will report its first quarter results for the period ended March 31, 2013 on Thursday, April 25, 2013 via a press release and accompanying webcast.

Additionally, Cantor Fitzgerald reported on Mar. 20 that it has reaffirmed a “Buy” rating on travel services company, Expedia Inc (EXPE). The firm has reiterated a “Buy” rating and $77 price target. This price target suggests a 18% upside to the stock’s current price of $63.




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