Healthcare Stocks Still Lower in Late Trade; NPS Pharma Forecasts Big Jump in Sales For Its Orphan Drug

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Healthcare stocks are finishing the week with small declines with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index falling about 0.1% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 sliding about 0.2% as a group.

In company news, NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. ( NPSP ) is up more than 24% at $22.48 a share, easing from its new 52-week high of $23.09 after late yesterday projecting global sales of between $25 million to $30 million for its Gattex/Revestive medication during FY13.

The so-called orphan drug - marketed as Gattex in the U.S. and Revestive in E.U. countries - currently is being used by 141 individuals with Short Bowel Syndrome, a potentially life-threatening disorder when more than two-thirds of a patient's small intestines are removed. NPSP is expecting that number will grow, with between 275 to 325 patients receiving the drug therapy by the end of the year.

Q2 sales of the drug totaled $4.8 million. Overall revenue for the quarter rose 28% year over year to $36.5 million, topping analyst estimates by $4.5 million.

Less positive was NPSP swinging to a Q2 net loss of $0.13 per share from an $0.08 profit last year. Analysts, on average, had been expecting a $0.05 per share loss for the company in Q2.

In other sector news,

(+) AMED, KKR Asset Management acquires 8.5% stake, purchasing 2.75 million shares for $31.75 million since June, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission records.

(-) DNDN, Reports Q2 net loss of $0.45 per share, missing the analyst consensus by $0.04. Revenue falls 8.3% year over year to $73.29 mln, trailing the Street view by $1.3 mln.



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.

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Referenced Stocks: NPSP

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