A Look at 5 Stocks in the Green Wednesday

by: Alex Shadunsky

These 5 stocks still managed to post big gains Wednesday despite the bloodbath everywhere else on the Street.

Marshall Edwards (MSHL) more than doubled, rising 135%, after one of its product candidates showed activity. The company announced the publication of results from a pre-clinical study of NV-128 showing activity in chemotherapy-resistant ovarian cancer stem cells. NV-128 is the prodrug of the Company's investigational compound and lead mitochondrial inhibitor drug candidate, NV-344.

Previous studies conducted at Yale University showed that NV-128 is able to inhibit tumor growth in an ovarian cancer animal model without inducing significant toxicity, suggesting a sufficient therapeutic window that may allow compounds of this class to be safely administered to patients. Once administered, NV-128 is demethylated in vivo to NV-344, its active metabolite, which has been shown to be significantly more potent than NV-128 in pre-clinical research studies. Marshall Edwards plans to complete the required pre-clinical studies of NV-344 to submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the FDA by the first quarter of 2012.

ACCO Brands (NYSE:ABD) rose 15% after the company reported strong Q2 results and issued strong guidance. Net sales increased 8% to $330.2 million, compared with $305.2 million in the prior-year quarter. Foreign currency favorably impacted sales by 6% and pricing added 2%. Volume was flat. Second quarter income from continuing operations was $6.3 million, or $0.11 per diluted share, compared with income of $4.3 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, in the prior-year quarter. Using a normalized effective tax rate of 30% in both periods, adjusted income from continuing operations was $8.6 million, compared with $4.3 million in the prior-year period, and $0.15 per share compared with $0.08 per share in the prior-year period, an increase of 88%. Analysts expected EPS of $0.09.

The company reiterates its full-year 2011 sales guidance calling for growth of 2%-4% from continuing operations. The company revised its full-year earnings–per-share guidance for continuing operations to be at the high end of its previously stated 20%-30% growth range, on a normalized 30% tax rate basis. The company expects free cash flow of $100-$110 million, including gross proceeds from the sale of the GBC – Fordigraph business.

Oculus Innovative Sciences (OCLS) jumped 7% after it announced a licensing agreement. The company announced a multi-year licensing agreement with Eloquest Healthcare, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ferndale Pharma Group to market multiple Microcyn-based products in the United States under the Eloquest Healthcare brand, including Oculus' negative-pressure wound therapy solution and prescription wound care line. Negative pressure wound therapy is a therapeutic technique used to promote healing in acute or chronic wounds.

According to the agreement, Eloquest Healthcare has been granted an exclusive U.S. license for Microcyn-based negative-pressure wound therapy solution, and will promote Microcyn-based wound care products under Eloquest Healthcare Brand to U.S. hospitals, ambulatory surgical and acute care centers. Eloquest Healthcare plans to begin marketing both product lines beginning in January 2012.

The Jones Group (NYSE:JNY) jumped 16% after reporting consensus-beating Q2 EPS. Revenue for the second quarter of 2011 was $888 million, as compared with $860 million for the second quarter of 2010. The company reported adjusted EPS of $0.33 for the second quarter of 2011, compared with adjusted earnings per share of $0.45 in the same period last year. Analysts expected EPS of $0.27.

The company said “Our operating trends in the core businesses continue to improve as a result of our focus on brand management, inventory planning and controlling costs and expenses. Since we completed the acquisition of Stuart Weitzman a year ago, the brand has performed exceptionally well and experienced strong growth, both domestically and internationally. We also continue to optimize our portfolios' existing and new brands, and with the acquisition of Kurt Geiger, we are further expanding our reach into the luxury sector and internationally."

Questcor Pharmaceuticals (QCOR) rose 25% following strong Q2 results. The company reported record net sales for its second quarter ended June 30, 2011, of $46.0 million, up 62% compared with $28.3 million for the year ago quarter. Net income for the quarter rose 49% from the same period one year ago to $13.9 million, or $0.21 per diluted share.

A 147% year-over-year (y/y) increase in the number of paid H.P. Acthar Gel (Acthar) prescriptions for the treatment of multiple sclerosis exacerbations led to increased shipments of Acthar vials. Paid Acthar prescriptions for the treatment of nephrotic syndrome also increased sharply in the quarter. In addition, paid Acthar prescriptions for the treatment of infantile spasms were at the highest quarterly level since the third quarter of 2008.

During the second quarter of 2011, Questcor shipped 2,430 vials of Acthar, up 45% compared with 1,680 vials in the year-ago quarter, and up 21% compared with 2,010 vials in the first quarter of 2011. The company's quarterly vial shipments continue to be subject to significant variation due to the size and timing of individual orders from Questcor's distributor, and the timing of these orders can significantly affect net sales and net income in any particular quarter.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.