By Brandon Glenn
PLYMOUTH, Minnesota — Cardiology device maker ATS Medical Inc.’s (NSDQ:ATSI) stock plummeted 18 percent in early afternoon trading Jan. 12, a day after the company announced it expects losses for the fourth quarter and full year of 2009.
The company blamed the worse-than-expected projections on slow growth in its heart valve and heart surgery businesses, according to a statement. Its share price had fallen to $2.65 early Tuesday afternoon, after closing the prior day at $3.24.
ATS said it expects to post a fourth-quarter loss on sales of between $18.4 million and $18.8 million. Analysts had expected ATS to break even in the quarter, on revenues of about $21 million. ATS had predicted it would break even or post a slight increase in earnings for the quarter.
“In the fourth quarter we experienced an unexpected slowdown in growth for our legacy businesses, namely mechanical heart valves and CryoMaze surgical ablation products,” CEO Michael Dale said in the statement.
ATS also downwardly revised its full-year revenue projections to between $75.4 million and $75.8 million. Analysts had been expecting sales of about $78 million.
The company said it expects sales to pick up in the second half of this year, as it expands the rollout of its 3f Enable sutureless heart valve, which recently received CE Mark approval in the European Union.
ATS has not set a date for the release of its fourth-quarter and full-year results. The company expects to announce a date for its release in mid-February, according to the statement.
Until Monday’s announcement, 2009 had been shaping up nicely for ATS. For the year’s first nine months, sales jumped 19.2 percent to $57 million, up from $48 million during the same period of the prior year. During that time, ATS also narrowed its operating loss to $962,000 from $9.2 million.