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Healthcare Stocks Slightly Lower; Gentiva Health Down 1% After Rejecting Kindred Entreaties

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Healthcare stocks were slightly lower this afternoon with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index falling about 0.1% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 down about 0.3% as a group.

In company news, shares of Gentiva Health Services ( GTIV ) fell Friday after directors at the home health and hospice care company late yesterday rejected Kindred Healthcare's ( KND ) $1.6 billion buyout proposal, saying it "significantly undervalues" the company and its prospects.

In prepared remarks, the GTIV board said it was confident the company can create greater value for shareholders "by continuing to execute our One Gentiva initiative, along with the balance of our strategic plan." The company also said it has hired Barclays Capital and Edge Healthcare Partners LLC as financial advisors as well as Greenberg Traurig LLP to provide legal advice.

KND sent GTIV soaring yesterday after announcing its $14 a share offer, to be paid equally in cash and KND stock, although KND said it could make it an all-cash deal if GTIV preferred.

GTIV shares were off nearly 1% in recent trade at $13.69 each, earlier falling to a session low of $13.30 a share. KND reversed earlier declines and was up about 0.5% recently at $24.44 a share.

In other sector news,

(1) OHRP, (-1.1%) Reverses early gains that followed deal to acquire ophthalmology assets of SKS Ocular for $3.5 mln in cash and 1.19 mln shares of its stock - worth about $10.6 mln based on Thursday's $8.90 closing price - plus contingent milestone payments.

(-) KMDA, (-33.1%) Said its inhaled Alpha-1 Antitrypsin drug candidate did not achieve primary end point of reducing time to first exacerbation event at one year during Phase II/III testing in patients with inherited emphysema.

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

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