Hewlett-Packard, VIVUS, Boston Beer, Skullcandy Attract Trading Attention Feb. 24th

VIVUS, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS): Vivus’ share price skyrocketed 116% in pre-market trading Thursday after winning the strong backing of an FDA advisory panel for its weight-loss drug Qnexa. Vivus will need to invest in commercializing Qnexa, so it may take longer than expected for the company to turn a profit, Barron’s reports. Orexigen Therapeutics (NASDAQ:OREX) and Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARNA) are also awaiting approval for their obesity medicines. Vivus is planning an 11,300-patient study to assess Qnexa in reducing major heart complications in obese at-risk patients. It could take more than four years to complete. In the meantime, Barron’s says the company is likely to form a partnership with a bigger drug maker to handle marketing Qnexa outside the U.S. And some analysts see the company as a takeout target. Shares of VIVUS, Inc. are trading 4.17% higher today.

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ): After Hewlett-Packard reported Q4 results that RBC Capital views as mixed, the firm thinks the fact that the company beat its guidance represents a first step toward restoring investor confidence. The firm maintains an Outperform rating on the stock. Shares of Hewlett-Packard Company are trading 0.74% lower today.

Boston Beer Co Inc (NYSE:SAM): Boston Beer sees 2012 EPS $3.80-$4.20 versus consensus $4.14.
Sees 2012 depletions growth of 6 to 9% compared to 2011 and targeted revenue per barrel increases of approximately 3%, which the company said will help offset significant barley cost pressures from the 2011 crop. Shares of Boston Beer Co Inc are trading 0.17% lower today.

Skullcandy Inc (NASDAQ:SKUL): Skullcandy sees FY12 adjusted EPS $1.10-$1.20, consensus $1.16. Shares of Skullcandy Inc are trading 1.84% higher today.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

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