Why Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, GT Advanced Technologies, and Almost Family Soared Today

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

The stock market gave up a small part of their recent gains today, as investors looked at news of sluggish economic conditions in Europe as cause to rein in their general enthusiasm. Yet even with slight declines for most broad-market benchmarks, Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: KERX  ) , GT Advanced Technologies (NASDAQ: GTAT  ) , and Almost Family (NASDAQ: AFAM  ) all climbed by double-digit percentages. Let's take a closer look to find out what sent those stocks soaring today.

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals rose by 19% as the company released positive results in its mid-stage study of kidney-disease treatment Zerenex. With success in two key endpoints in tackling chronic kidney disease, Keryx hopes that it will eventually be able to extend Zerenex's use beyond patients on dialysis. Although the drug could be a moderate success even with a more limited indication, being able to use Zerenex on patients not on dialysis opens up a much broader market.

GT Advanced Technologies climbed almost 21% on news that it will become a supplier of key sapphire crystals to Apple. The use of sapphire to protect certain fragile mobile-device components, such as the newest iPhone's fingerprint-reading sensors and camera components, has become increasingly common, and the deal ensures that Apple will have an ample supply from GT. Given that GT is also a player in the rising solar industry, the stock could see further gains if conditions continue to improve.

Almost Family gained 13% after a pair of news items. In its earnings report, the home-health service provider saw revenue rise 6%, although net income from continuing operations dropped by almost half. Yet even with the company facing rate cuts from Medicare and changes in the way Medicare Advantage contracts pay Almost Family, it also announced that it would acquire SunCrest HealthCare. That acquisition should provide a huge boost to its national footprint, giving Almost Family more concentrated service in key areas like Florida and the Northeast.

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