Healthcare Review: Akorn, MannKind Corporation, Skilled Healthcare Group, NeoStem, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Print E-mail
By Mary Davila   
Tuesday, 06 August 2013 14:09
U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday as investors found little reason to extend a rally that has taken indexes to record highs in recent sessions, while IBM fell on bearish analyst commentary. Trading volume has been muted, with Monday marking the lightest full-day action of the year, a sign that market participants are largely holding pat near historic levels. Recent market-moving events have moved to the background. The intense investor focus on Federal Reserve policy has receded after last week's bearish payroll report suggested the Fed would not ease its monetary stimulus soon.

Akorn, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKRX) moves up after Q2 earnings easily beat estimates this morning. Total revenue was up 22% over the prior year quarter. Nembutal sales rose sequentially by 14% Y/Y.Gross margin was 54.7% compared to 56.5% in Q212.The company reaffirms its FY13 EPS guidance of $0.53 - $0.55, bracketing the consensus EPS of $0.54.FY13 revenues are projected to be $305M - $315M, towards the low end of the Street view of $315.54M.

Shares of MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) slides today on no specific news catalyst.The September 5 puts are seeing heightened interest on the move lower by the underlying shares.Over 10.2K contracts have traded so far - with the majority of today's volume occurring in one single transaction - versus open interest of 1.1K.The move has pushed implied volatility up around 14 points to around 195%Of note: Data from its Phase 3 study of Afrezza is expected later this summer.

Skilled Healthcare Group, Inc. (NYSE:SKH) slips after its Q2 report misses on all fronts as adjusted EPS halved and revenue fell. The company blames the miss on several factors:In its long-term care business, it continues to see a shift of Medicare patient days to managed care days, as well as an overall softness in its skilled nursing occupancy rates.Continued therapy reimbursement changes, in particular the Medicare Part B manual medical review for treatments exceeding the $3,700 threshold, have created a significant delay in payment to skilled nursing facilities generally, as the Medicare Administrative Contractors and Recovery Auditors have thus far been unable to keep pace with the volume of claims. Ongoing hospice cap exposure.

NeoStem Inc. (NASDAQ:NBS) hires Douglas Losordo as Chief Medical Officer to replace Andrew Pecora, who is becoming "Chief Visionary Officer;" the latter will continue to hold other roles as well.Losordo, whom Neostem describes as a "leader in cell therapy research and a renowned cardiologist," comes from Baxter International, where he held senior posts.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:REGN) falls 5.86% premarket despite in line Q2 earnings and positive Phase 3 DME results for Eylea.Investors may be concerned about U.S. Eylea sales which, at $330M for the period came in just shy of Street estimates ($333M).


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