Healthcare Sector Turns Positive Late; Nordion Hits New 52-Week High After Sterigencis Boosts Offer

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Healthcare stocks turned solidly positive late Monday with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index rising about 0.2% while shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 were up over 0.5% as a group.

In company news, Nordion (NDZ,NDN.TO) rose to a new 52-week high Monday after Sterigenics boosted its buyout bid by $29 million, now offering $758 million in cash for the Canadian supplier of medical isotopes.

Sterigenics, a private-equity backed provider of medical instrument sterilization services, would now pay $12.25 a share for NDZ, up $0.50 from its March 28 offer. All other terms of its bid were unchanged, Sterigenics said.

NDZ shares were ahead 6.7% at $12.36 apiece just before the close, earlier advancing to a new 52-week high of $12.43 a share. NDN.TO shares were up 6.5% at C$13.52 each in late trade at the Toronto stock exchange.

In other sector news,

(+) CYTR, Announces final results from Phase Ib/II testing of its Aldoxorubicin drug candidate, saying overall survival rates for patients with soft-tissue sarcomas in the trial nearly doubled to a median 11 months from 6.4 months in prior testing.

(-) PFE, Q1 revenue fall 8.5% year over year to $11.35 mln, trailing estimates by around $660 mln. EPS of $0.57 beats by $0.02 per share. Reaffirms in-line FY14 outlook expecting EPS of $2.20 to $2.30 and $49.2 bln to $51.2 bln in revenue.



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