Healthcare Business Recap: St. Jude Beats Expectations, Novartis Settlement

Novartis (NYSE:NVS) — in an effort to settle a wage and hours class action lawsuit — decides to make a payment of up to $99 million to settle.

Wellpoint (NYSE:WLP) shares are down. It misses its fourth quarter earnings, and has lukewarm guidance for 2012. The firm’s largest expense increased 10% in the quarter. Medical claims were up to $12.43 billion.

Earnings Report: Wellpoint Inc. Earnings: Four Straight Quarters of Profit Drops.

Neurocrine Biosciences (NASDAQ:NBIX) announces it has the fast track designation from the Food and Drug Administration for one its inhibitor product candidates. This potentially sets the firm up for a quicker road to final approval.

Roche’s (RHHBY.PK) $5.7 billion hostile offer for Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) is built on a loophole. In Illumina’s takeover, Roche will be able to vitiate ILMN’s provision for a staggered board by simply proposing to amend the by-laws at the next annual meeting to add another two Roche-sponsored directors. This is a scenario it completed successfully in its 2007 bid for Ventana.

St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) shares are up after beating its fourth quarter expectations across the board. Despite the earnings beat and today’s price action, profit dipped 21% year-over-year.  Cardiac rhythm management sales declined due to concerns of overuse and a Department of Justice investigation. Like most of the industry, STJ continues to be challenged by pricing pressures from hospitals and more potential cuts in government health-care spending.

Don’t Miss: Abbott Laboratories Earnings: Keeping the Profitability Streak Alive.

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