3 Horrendous Health-Care Stocks This Week

Baltimore won. Beyonce rocked. But some health-care stocks didn't have such great experiences. Here are three of the most horrendous performers for the past week.

A beat-down
OraSure Technologies (NASDAQ: OSUR  ) announced its fourth-quarter results after the market closed on Wednesday. The oral fluid diagnostics maker beat analyst expectations by $0.03 per share. That's good, right? Maybe so, but it wasn't good enough. Shares fell by 12% for the week.

The company beat analyst expectations by losing less money than anticipated -- $0.11 per share compared to an expected $0.14 per share. Sales declined to $22.1 million but exceeded analyst expectations of $20.9 million. The last quarter's performance wasn't the issue, though. Next quarter is a different story.

OraSure projects that first quarter 2013 revenue will be between $20 million and $21 million. The company expects a net loss for the quarter of $0.18-$0.19 per share. Analysts targeted better performance, with the average expectation for revenue of $21.5 million and for a loss of only $0.15 per share.

Deja vu?
Like OraSure, shares of Accuray (NASDAQ: ARAY  ) fell by 12% this week. And, again like OraSure, the company beat analyst expectations by losing less money than expected. Feeling a sense of deja vu yet? So far, Accuray's story sounds a lot like OraSure's.

Accuray reported revenue for last quarter of $77.8 million. That beat average analyst expectations of $74.2 million but was a drop of 27% year-over-year. The radiation oncology company's net loss was $0.30 per share. Analysts expected a loss of $0.33 per share.

The company had already provided full-year revenue guidance in line with analyst views. So with this guidance and beats on the top and bottom lines, why did Accuray's shares tank? It's probably because of the bleak overall outlook. Accuray recently announced a restructuring to reduce operating costs by $40 million per year. The company also revealed this week that it planned to take on another $75 million in debt.

What goes up...
It was bound to happen sooner or later. After skyrocketing on good news about phase 3 results for Zerenex, shares of Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: KERX  ) sank over 10% this week. This drop comes on the heels of a 22% decline last Friday.

Investors are worried about exclusivity for Zerenex after a report came out last week from  IPD Analytics. The research firm warned that Keryx might not be granted New Chemical Entity status by the FDA for Zerenex. IPD also expressed concern that the patents for the drug won't be strong enough to hold off generic challengers.

The good news for Keryx shareholders is that the stock is still up a whopping 140% so far in 2013. The bad news is that these kinds of worries could linger for a while and continue to impact share prices. Amarin (NASDAQ: AMRN  ) encountered a similar issue with Vascepa. Shares of the pharmaceutical company have suffered from the seemingly endless waiting game for an FDA decision on NCE status for the lipid-reducing drug.  

Pick one
If you had to pick one of this week's big losers, which would it be? My choice would be Keryx. Despite worries about patents and NCE status, the company has a lot of good things going for it. Investors will probably be in for something of a roller-coaster ride with this stock, but there should still be plenty of room to move upward over the long run.

The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has made his pick, also. But he hasn't limited his options to only our three horrendous health-care stocks of the week. Find out which stock he chose in our brand-new free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2013." I invite you to take a copy, free for a limited time. Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.


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