Healthcare Review: Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, LCA-Vision, Stereotaxis, Stemline Therapeutics, Health Management Associates Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Tuesday, 30 July 2013 13:52

U.S. stocks were little changed, erasing earlier gains, as investors analyzed corporate earnings and awaited results from the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting. Mosaic Co. and Agrium Inc. plunged at least 5.1 percent after OAO Uralkali said global prices of potash will fall about 25 percent. Coach Inc. lost 7.8 percent as discounts and weak handbag sales hurt revenue in North America. Eastman Chemical Co. and Herbalife Ltd. jumped more than 0.8 percent as earnings topped estimates. The Federal Open Market Committee, which has said it may start paring stimulus should the U.S. economy meet the central bank’s forecasts, starts a two-day meeting today. The Fed will probably maintain its benchmark interest rate at 0.25 percent, economists predict.

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:LXRX) trades up today despite the Q2 earnings miss. The company also reported on progress in its clinical pipeline, saying it's completed the pioneer portion of a Phase 2 clinical trial of LX4211 for the treatment of type 1 diabetes, with the drug showing a favorable safety profile when given in combination with insulin. It's also initiated enrollment of patients in the expansion portion of the type 1 diabetes trial and is proceeding with preparations for the initiation of Phase 3 clinical trials of LX4211 in type 2 diabetes as well.

LCA-Vision Inc. (NASDAQ:LCAV) trades up today after swinging to a Q2 profit of $0.02 a share, reversing a $0.17 per-share net loss in the year-ago period and beating Street expectations for a $0.11 loss. However, revenue was down slightly from the same period last year, falling slightly short of consensus forecasts, as LasikPlus procedures declined 9.9% due to new lower limits to tax-saving flexible spending accounts, which caused some patients to put off elective surgery. 12,994 procedures were performed during Q2, down from 14,415 procedures the year before and below the 16,272 procedures performed during Q1.

Stereotaxis Inc. (NASDAQ:STXS) rockets higher today after announcing late yesterday that it's been granted 510(k) clearance by the FDA to market its Vdrive Robotic Navigation System with V-Sono Intracardiac Echocardiography catheter manipulator in the U.S. This is the first clearance by the agency for the device maker's Vdrive family of products, which have been used in Europe since 2011.

Stemline Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:STML) posts double-digit gains in morning trading. Roth Capital starts the shares at Buy with a $50 price target, representing a 110% upside from Monday's close. LifeScience Advisors initiates coverage as well.

Health Management Associates Inc. (NYSE:HMA) expects Q2 adjusted EPS $0.10-0.11 vs forecasts of $0.21. Predicts net revenue of $1.46B vs $1.69B a year ago and consensus of $1.73B, hurt by weak admissions. Same hospital net revenue is expected to fall by $74M, due to lower revenue per adjusted admission. Receives additional subpoenas from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services regarding certain emergency room operations and physician relationships. Earlier, HMA announced that it's being bought by Community Health Systems for $3.9B.

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