Analyst actions and clinical trial data were some of the catalysts behind the most actively traded stocks on Wednesday.
Shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb rose after Citigroup upgraded the stock to "buy" from "hold" and said Wall Street is underestimating the company's ability to widen profit margins.
In addition, analyst George Grofik said consensus margin forecasts -- well below the industry average -- leave room for improvement as Plavix sales continue to grow. And while a potential takeover of Bristol has a low probability of happening, the analyst said, a deal would warrant a takeout price of about $35 to $40 a share.
"In light of recent weakness, we believe Bristol-Myers shares represent a compelling risk-reward proposition," said Grofik.
Ford Motor shares rose on news the automaker was selling its Jaguar and Land Rover brands. The Dearborn, Mich.-based company has suggested in the past that it would consider selling the two British brands, and on Tuesday said it was reviewing its position on them.
Network equipment maker Finisar reaffirmed its first-quarter revenue forecast on Tuesday after the close of trading, sending shares higher Wednesday. The company said during a conference call with analysts that it expects revenue of $105 million to $112 million in the first quarter. Analysts expect the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company to post revenue of $107.3 million.
Lawson Software gained 7% on Wednesday after the business application software maker raised forecasts for the fourth quarter. Lawson raised its quarterly earnings estimate by 2 cents a share and raised revenue guidance above Wall Street expectations.
Among downside movers, HealthSpring fell on heavy trading volume after the managed healthcare provider cut 2007 earnings estimates, citing higher-than-expected medical service costs and facility charges.