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Emergent BioSolutions Shares Popped: What You Need to Know

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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of bio-defense company Emergent BioSolutions (NYSE: EBS  ) are shooting higher by 12% today following the company's fourth-quarter results and 2012 guidance.

So what: For the quarter, Emergent reported a profit of $0.80, beating Wall Street's expectations by $0.06. Revenue of $107.9 million fell slightly short of expectations. For fiscal 2012, Emergent is forecasting total revenue to range between $280 million and $300 million with net income of $15 million to $25 million. This also fell short of what the Street had been expecting. Emergent did, however, procure a multi-year contract with the CDC to supply 44.75 million doses of its inhalation anthrax vaccine, BioThrax, at a cost of up to $1.25 billion.

Now what: It's always confusing when a company guides estimates lower and the stock reacts higher. In Emergent's case I feel it's the fact that things aren't nearly as bad as everyone had been predicting. Earlier this week, I highlighted Emergent as a stock near its 52-week low that could be worth buying, and so far that looks like a decent call. Emergent doesn't exactly have a cakewalk in inhalation anthrax. PharmAthene is developing SparVax as a direct rival and Human Genome Sciences has its own anthrax treatment, ABthrax. Still, Emergent seems like a solid biodefense play for the future, even after its lower-than-expected forecast, and I'm standing behind my CAPScall recommendation of outperform on the stock.

Craving more input? Start by adding Emergent BioSolutions to your free and personalized watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with the company.

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.

Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Emergent BioSolutions. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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