TriQuint up after 4Q report

Shares of TriQuint Semiconductor Inc. rose ahead of Thursday’s market open after the chip maker posted strong fourth-quarter results and an analyst raised his earnings estimates.

The Hillsboro, Ore., company’s stock added 17 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $6.92 in premarket trading.

Late Wednesday, TriQuint said it earned $17.5 million, or 11 cents per share, during the final three months of 2009. In the same period of 2008, it lost $34.3 million, or 23 cents per share.

{loadposition in-article}

Excluding costs for employee stock compensation and several other items, TriQuint beat the average earnings estimate among analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters by a penny per share.

Merriman Curhan Ford analyst Scott Searle said a higher gross margin was the main reason for the earnings surprise. That, together with the company’s projection for 20 percent revenue growth this year, led him to raise his earnings estimate for 2010 to 53 cents per share from 47 cents per share. [Read the full article]

Shares of Express Scripts Inc. rose in premarket trading Thursday, a day after the pharmacy benefits manger reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit as it reaped gains from a recent acquisition.

The St. Louis company said Wednesday its profit rose 8 percent in the quarter to $223.3 million, as it gained new business after buying the NextRx pharmacy benefit management business of health insurer WellPoint Inc.

The company bought NextRx in April for about $4.68 billion. The deal made Express Scripts the second largest U.S. pharmacy benefits manager by revenue, behind Medco Health Solutions and ahead of CVS Caremark.

Pharmacy benefits managers handle prescription drug benefits for health plan sponsors and members. They make money, in part, by reducing expenses, which is frequently done by encouraging greater use of low-cost generic drugs. [Read the full article]

Shares of Blockbuster Inc. tumbled Thursday as analysts said the company may need to undergo a significant restructuring this year as competition from Netflix Inc. and DVD vending machines erode revenue, making it difficult for the company to pay its debts.

The Dallas video rental chain said Wednesday it lost $435 million in the fourth quarter, while a key sales measure sank 16 percent — a dismal holiday season performance despite higher advertising and big library purchases, said BMO Capital Markets analyst Jeffrey Logsdon in a research note Thursday.

“Revenue erosion is now a defined trend,” said Logsdon, even though Blockbuster has closed more than 1,300 underperforming stores. The company plans to close up to 545 more stores this year. [Read the full article]

Development-stage drug developer Anadys Pharmaceuticals Inc. said late Wednesday its developing hepatitis C drug was only slightly more effective at treating the virus than placebo in a midstage study.

After 12 weeks, 73 percent of patients on the drug candidate ANA598 achieved undetectable levels of the virus, compared with 71 percent of patients on placebo. Meanwhile, the drug met safety goals in the study and was more effective than placebo in earlier time intervals.

The study involves 26 people. Smaller studies, such as early and midstage clinical trials, often focus more on safety than effectiveness. Often, there are too few people to determine effectiveness.

Oppenheimer analyst Dr. Brian Abrahams cut his investment rating on the company’s shares to “Perform” from “Outperform” and removed his $8 price target on the stock. He said the more rapid effectiveness suggest that the drug candidate has some activity, but the 12-week data is concerning. [Read the full article]

You may also like...