Healthcare Stocks Holding Near Session Highs; Actavis Advances to New 52-Week High After Q4 Earnings Top Estimates


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Healthcare stocks were mostly higher Thursday, with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index advancing 1.0% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 rising 1.0% as a group.

In company news, Actavis plc ( ACT ) rose to a new 52-week high Thursday after the generic drug-maker reported Q4 earnings of $3.17 per share, ex items, topping analyst forecasts by $0.13 per share.

Revenue rose 58.8% year over year to $2.78 billion, also exceeding the Capital IQ consensus by around $120 million.

ACT also reaffirmed its FY14 guidance expecting per-share earnings of $12.60 to $13.10, ex items, spanning the median estimate looking for $13.01 per share. Both estimates excluded possible impacts of ACT's pending purchase of Forest Labs ( FRX ).

Shares were up 4.2% at $219.33 apiece, earlier reaching a new 52-week high of $222.24 a share.

In other sector news,

(+) ISR, (+1.3%) Extends gains to a second day after late Tuesday reporting fiscal Q2 net loss of $0.02 per share, $0.01 less than the year-ago loss. Revenue rose 11% year over year to $1.09 mln, trailing Thomson Reuters consensus by around $30,000.

(-) ONTX, (-41.7%) Said its rigosertib intravenous cancer treatment combined with best supportive care did not show a a statistically significant improvement in median survival rates when compared to best supportive care in patients with higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Copyright (C) 2014 All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: ACT , FRX

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