St. Jude Medical Q4 Profit Up 3%, Results Beat View

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(RTTNews.com) - Medical equipment maker St. Jude Medical, Inc. ( STJ ) on Wednesday reported a 3 percent increase in profit for the fourth quarter from last year on an increase in sales, partly offset by higher one-time charges. Both revenue and adjusted earnings per share for the quarter beat analysts' expectations.

Looking ahead, St. Jude forecast earnings for the first quarter in line with analysts' estimates, but projects revenues below their view. For fiscal 2014, the company's earnings and revenue forecast are in line with analysts' expectations.

In the Cardiac Rhythm Management or CRM segment, sales for the fourth quarter rose 3 percent from the year-ago period to $705 million. The business includes implantable cardioverter defibrillator or ICD and pacemaker products. ICD product sales increased 5 percent, while pacemaker sales rose 1 percent.

Atrial Fibrillation product sales increased 5 percent to $252 million and improved 8 percent on a currency-neutral basis. Total cardiovascular sales, which include vascular and structural heart products, rose 4 percent from last year to $350 million.

Neuromodulation product sales rose 2 percent from the year-ago period on a reported as well as currency neutral basis to $115 million.

Fourth-quarter net earnings attributable to the company were $123 million or $0.42 per share, up from $120 million or $0.39 per share in the prior-year period.

The latest quarter's results include after-tax charges of $0.52 per share, primarily relating to continued actions associated with the company's previously announced restructuring activities. The company also recognized an income tax charge of $0.05 per share in the quarter, related to adjustments to prior year uncertain tax positions in foreign jurisdictions.

The year-ago quarter's results included items totaling $159 million or $0.51 per share.

Excluding these items, adjusted earnings per share for the latest quarter were $294 million or $0.99 per share, compared to $285 million or $0.92 per share in the same period last year. On average, 24 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.97 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Net sales for the quarter rose 4 percent to $1.42 billion from $1.37 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $1.38 billion.

Unfavorable foreign currency translation impact comparisons decreased sales for the quarter by about $27 million. On a currency neutral basis, net sales rose by about 6 percent from last year.

For fiscal 2013, St. Jude's net earnings declined to $723 million from $752 million last year, while earnings per share rose to $2.49 from $2.39 in the prior year on lower number of weighted shares outstanding.

Adjusted net earnings for the year were $1.09 billion or $3.76 per share, compared to $1.10 billion or $3.48 per share in the previous year.

Net sales for the year edged down slightly to $5.501 billion from $5.503 billion last year.

Street expected the company to earn $3.74 per share for the year on revenues of $5.46 billion.

Looking ahead to the first quarter, St. Jude forecast net earnings in a range of $0.89 to $0.91 per share, adjusted earnings of $0.94 to $0.96 per share and revenues in a range of $1.28 billion to $1.36 billion. Analysts expect earnings of $0.95 per share for the quarter on revenues of $1.38 billion.

For fiscal 2014, St. Jude forecast net earnings in a range of $3.80 to $3.85 per share, adjusted earnings between $3.94 and $3.99 per share, and revenues in a range of $5.60 billion to $5.75 billion. Analysts expect earnings of $3.98 per share for the year on revenues of $5.64 billion.

In Wednesday's regular session, STJ is trading at $64.20, down $1.76 or 2.67 percent on a volume of 745,381 shares.

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