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eHealth, Inc. (EHTH), Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc (QCOR): Three Humongous Health-Care Stocks This Week

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Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:QCOR)How would you like to make a 27%-plus return on your investment — within one week? Shareholders in three health-care companies enjoyed such gains this week. Here are the three humongous winners.

Acthar’s revenge
Short-sellers have placed their bull’s-eyes on Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:QCOR) for a while. Speculation that its Acthar gel will lose reimbursement has made Questcor one volatile stock. This week, though, the company took some wind out of the short-sellers’ sails with a blowout earnings report. Shares soared more than 30% for the week.

To put into perspective just how good Questor’s second-quarter numbers were, consider that the most optimistic analyst polled by Thomson Reuters expected that earnings would come in at $1.18 per share. Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:QCOR)’s actual earnings were $1.35 per share. Now that’s what you call an earnings beat.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:QCOR) continues to expand sales for Acthar by targeting new indications. The company reported tremendous results from its launch into rheumatology. Next up is going after the pulmonary market.

Christmas in August

Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ:SNTA) played the role of Santa Claus (or maybe Synta Claus?) with a nice gift to shareholders this week. The company’s shares jumped 27% on positive results from a phase 2 study of cancer drug ganetespib .

The clinical study, known as ENCHANT-1, focused on evaluating ganetespib in treating patients with newly diagnosed locally advanced or metastatic HER2-positive or triple-negative breast cancer. Two patients achieved objective tumor response and three achieved stable disease after taking ganetespib. These results were more than satisfactory to warrant moving ahead with further enrollment.

ENCHANT-1 is one of more than 20 clinical trials for ganetespib. The study farthest along right now is a phase 3 trial for the drug combined with docetaxel as a second-line treatment of non-small-cell lung adenocarcinoma.

Thank you, Uncle Sam
It’s been an up-and-down year for eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ:EHTH) . In March, the stock was down by more than 45% year to date. “Up” was the word for this week, though. Shares surged more than 27% thanks to a little help from Uncle Sam.

After more than a year of hard lobbying to sell insurance plans participating in Obamacare health-insurance exchanges, eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ:EHTH) finally won a contract this week with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS. The Obamacare exchanges, scheduled to launch in October, have taken a lot of heat from inside and outside the federal government because of missed deadlines. Now, eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ:EHTH) could be riding to the rescue.

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