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Sector Update: Health Care Stocks Slipping in Afternoon Trade; ICU Medical Tops Q2 Expectations, Raises FY14 EPS Outlook

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Healthcare stocks were moderately lower today with the NYSE Healthcare Sector Index dropping about 0.2% and shares of healthcare companies in the S&P 500 falling about 0.3% as a group.

In company news, ICU Medical ( ICUI ) was hanging on a portion of its morning gains that followed the medical device company reported Q2 net income and revenue that topped analyst expectations and also raised its forecast for full-year earnings.

ICUI shares were up about 7.3% in recent trade at $62.13 each, well off their session high of $63.89 a share. Over the past 12 months, the stock has traded within a range of $54.00 to $74.93 a share, slipping about 13.5% during that span.

The company posted Q2 GAAP net income of $5.9 million, or $0.38 per share, down from a $7.4 million GAAP profit last year but beating the Capital IQ consensus by $0.04 per share. Revenue inched just 0.1% above year-ago levels to $78.6 million but still topped analyst estimates by around $4.53 million.

International sales rose 12% year over year, helping offset a 4% decline in domestic revenue that was largely due to a a drop in sales of its infusion therapy devices.

Looking forward, the company raised the bottom end of its forecast for per-share earnings by $0.15 while boosting the top end of its EPS guidance by $0.05 over its prior outlook. It now sees earnings in a range of $1.30 to $1.50 per share, in-line with the Street view looking for a $1.38 per share gain this year.

In other sector news,

(+) ICPT, (+26.1%) Said 46% of patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis treated with its obeticholic acid drug candidate did not suffer further liver scarring compared with only 21% in placebo group. Now planning late-stage trial during first half of 2015.

(-) INSM, (-4.0%) Begins $80 mln underwritten offering of its common stock. At Monday's closing price of $11.81 a share, the company would issue around 6.77 mln shares. Proceeds will fund clinical development of Arikayce treatment for cystic fibrosis.

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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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