Sector Update: Healthcare Stocks Little Changed Today; Biolase Soars After Legal Fight Ends in CEO Ouster


Top Healthcare Stocks

JNJ -0.83%

PFE -0.30%

ABT -0.33%

MRK -0.09%

AMGN +0.36%

Healthcare stocks were narrowly mixed this afternoon with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index climbing about 0.1% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 down about 0.1% as a group.

In company news, Biolase Inc. ( BIOL ) jumped to its best share price in nearly two months Tuesday after Federico Pignatelli stepped down as CEO and board chairman at the dental-laser company, less than a week after the Delaware Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision in a shareholder suit seeking to end a board deadlock over his tenure.

Oracle Partners, a Greenwich, Conn., hedge fund that owns about 16.4% of BIOL stock, and Pignatelli have been fighting over board composition and size, with a Court of Chancery judge late last month siding with Oracle Partners' bid to place its nominee on a six-member board. That decision was upheld last Thursday, June 12, by the Delaware high court, effectively ending Pignatelli's efforts to remain at the company helm.

Following Pignatelli's resignation, BIOL said new board member Jeffrey Nugent agreed to serve as interim CEO while the company looks for a permanent replacement. Nugent previously held several executive positions at Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ ), including leading the healthcare conglomerate's dental care franchise as well as Worldwide President and CEO of its Neutrogena skin care unit. He also was a past CEO at Revlon Inc ( REV ).

Also today, the company said former Abbott Labs ( ABT ) executive Paul Clark was selected new board chairman.

BIOL shares recently were up nearly 23% at $2.31 apiece, earlier climbing to a session high of $2.44 a share. The stock has a 52-week range of $1.15 to $4.52 a share, falling over 47% over the past 12 months.

In other sector news,

(+) NVGN, (+10.5%) Announces pre-clinical drug, Trx-1, a success in proof-of-concept studies confirming the potency of its experimental ovarian cancer treatment, Trx-1, when delivered into the peritoneal cavity.

(-) ACOR, (-6.4%) Planning $300 mln public offering of convertible senior notes due 2021.

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: BIOL , JNJ , REV , ABT

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