Healthcare Stocks Trending Higher; Agilent Tech Falls to 2-Month Low After Lowering FY14 Targets, Q1 Sales Miss

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Healthcare stocks were mostly higher Friday with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index gaining about 0.5% while shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 were up about 0.1% as a group.

In company news, Agilent Technologies Inc. ( A ) slid Friday, with shares of the bio-analysis and electronic measurement company falling to a two-month low after it reduced its FY14 guidance and fiscal Q1 sales missed analyst forecasts by a small margin.

Profit for the three months ended Jan. 31 was $0.67 per share, up from a $0.63 gain in the year-ago period and beating analyst estimates by $0.01 per share. Sales were little changed from last year at $1.68 million, trailing the Thomson Reuters consensus by $14 million, or about 0.8%.

The company last night also lowered the top end of its FY14 profit projections by $0.17 to a new range of $2.96 to $3.16 per share, now lagging the analyst view by at least $0.03 per share.

Separately Friday, A announced positive findings from a multi-center study in France of its HER2 IQFISH pharmDx diagnostics tool, stating the quick test for breast cancer provides "excellent quality signals without any background staining."

A shares were down about 7% at $55.81 each in recent trade, slipping to an intra-day low of $5.37 a share. The stock has a 52-week range of $40.19 to $61.22 a share.

In other sector news,

(+) LCAV, (+25.8%) Climbs to new 52-week high after agreeing to $106.4 mln buyout from PhotoMedex ( PHMD ). LCAV shareholders will receive $5.37 a share - a 34% premium over Wednesday's close. Deal seen adding to PHMD FY14 earning.

(-) ADAT, (-12.6%) Narrows net loss by 36% from the same quarter last year, recording $0.07 per share loss in fiscal Q2. Revenue increases 39% over year-ago period to $1.5 million. No analyst estimates were available for comparison.



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Referenced Stocks: A , PHMD

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