Earnings blowouts and FDA approvals were the catalysts behind some of Thursday's most actively traded stocks.
Symantec rose more than 6% after the world's largest security software maker posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings. The company reported fourth-quarter earnings of 24 cents a share, excluding charges, topping the consensus forecast of 20 cents.
Bear Stearns analyst John DiFucci said Symantec exceeded "very low expectations" and is similar to what happened in the quarter ending June 2006, "when Symantec exceeded very low expectations, only to miss two quarters after expectations were then set modestly higher." The analyst maintained an "underperform" rating on the stock. "We continue to be concerned about Symantec’s business prospects going forward and the results this quarter and the guidance validate those concerns," he said.
Shares of Hansen Medical surged more than 20% after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted approval of two products used to place catheters in hard-to-reach spots in the heart.
Stephan Ogilvie, an analyst with ThinkEquity Partners, said the approval was surprising. "Not very often does the FDA beat the EU in approving a product," he said. Ogilvie noted, however, that manufacturing the products will take time so the approvals won't affect the company's bottom line for awhile.
"Early approval is great and it's really good news but at the same time the cap equipment sales cycle won't be any shorter," he said.
Intelshares gained after the chip giant said it expects earnings growth to outpace revenue growth in the next two years as cost cuts help widen profit margins. Intel said it remains on pace of reaching spending goals of $2 billion in 2007 and $1 billion in 2008.
Delta Air Linesreturned to public trading after emerging from bankruptcy earlier this week, ending a 19-month restructuring. "It's an awesome day," CFO Edward Bastian told CNBC Thursday morning. "We call it independence day." Shares of the No. 3 U.S. carrier pared gains of as much as 7% after opening at $21.75.
Celgene was among the stocks moving to the downside after the biotech company said sales of cancer drug Revlimid came in lower than expected and reported earnings in-line with analysts' forecasts.
JDSU shares plunged after the optical networking company posted fiscal third-quarter earnings below Wall Street estimates. Despite the disappointing quarterly update, Citigroup analyst Michael Genovese said the sharp drop in price makes the stock valuation compelling. "We think JDSU is run by solid management and is a nice margin improvement story," he said.