Health Care Sector Update for 11/20/2018: INGN,ORPN,A,LIVN

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Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ -0.69%

PFE -1.54%

ABT -1.98%

MRK -2.01%

AMGN +0.85%

Health care stocks improved slightly in late trade, including a nearly 1.0% drop for the NYSE Health Care Index shortly before Tuesday’s closing bell. Shares of health carde companies in the S&P 500 also were down slightly more than 1.0% as a group while the Nasdaq Biotechnology index fell over 0.6% today.

Among health care stocks moving on news:

(+) Inogen was more than 3% higher shortly before Tuesday’s closing bell, retracing most of a slightly more than 5% gain earlier in the session that followed analysts at Needham & Co raising their investment recommendation for the medical device company to Strong Buy From Buy and also set a $280 a share price target. The upgrade follows Inogen last week reporting better-than-expected Q3 financial results and guided FY19 revenue exceeding analyst forecasts.

In other sector news:

(+) Bio Blast Pharma ( ORPN ) soared over 49% higher Tuesday morning, more recently drifting in a range nearly 19% higher after the early-stage biotechnology company announced plans for a reverse merger with privately held immunotherapy company, Enlivex Therapeutics. Financial terms of the proposed transaction were not disclosed, but Enlivex equity holders are expected to own about 96% of the combined companies, subject to customary adjustments and prior to any concurrent financing.

(+) Agilent Technologies ( A ) raced over 9% higher on Tuesday after the diagnostics firm beat Wall Street expectations on both its top and bottom lines during its Q4 ended Oct. 31 and guided its FY19 earnings at least $0.03 per share higher than the $2.97 per share Street view. Excluding one-time items, net income grew 21% over year-ago levels to $0.81 per share and exceeding the Capital IQ consensus by $0.07 per share. Revenue rose 9% year-over-year to $1.29 billion from $1.19 billion last year and also topping the $1.26 billion analyst mean. Looking forward, Agilent is projecting adjusted FY19 net income in a range of $3.00 and $3.05 per share on between 5.13 billion to $5.17 billion in revenue. Analysts, on average, are expecting non-GAAP net income of $2.97 per share on $5.19 billion in revenue for the 12 months ending next October.

(-) LivaNova ( LIVN ) dropped almost 17% in late Tuesday trading after the medical technology company disclosed plans to soon begin a clinical study aiming to meet the proposed changes by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to the national coverage determination for its Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy for treatment-resistant depression. The federal agency is expected to issue a final decision on the company’s proposal by Feb. 17, 2019.

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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