Investors on Wall Street shrugged off the $51 million hit to C.R. Bard’s (NYSE:BCR) bottom line from a legal settlement, bumping shares up about 2% today.
The Murray Hill, N.J.-based medical device giant posted profits of $113.8 million, or $1.30 per diluted share, on sales of $751.9 million for the 3 months ended Dec. 31, 2011, for a top-line gain of 5% but a bottom-line slide of 16.4%. Excluding 1-time items, however – such as the $51 million settlement over its brachytherapy business – adjusted EPS reached $1.70, 2 cents above The Street’s expectations.
For the full year, Bard logged profits of $328.0 million, or $3.69 diluted EPS, on sales of $2.90 billion, up 6.5% and down 35.6%, respectively. Adjusted EPS for 2011 also topped consensus estimates by 2 pennies.
"Fourth quarter constant currency net sales growth of 5% was at the top end of our guidance and allowed us to exceed adjusted EPS guidance for the quarter and for the year. Our revenue growth is being driven by a combination of geographic investments, external acquisitions and internal research and development. By combining top-line growth with disciplined expense management and share-repurchase programs, we have been able to meet our short-term commitments to shareholders while positioning the company for healthy long-term growth," chairman & CEO Timothy Ring said in prepared remarks.
Last week Bard said it had reached a preliminary deal with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia to resolve charges associated with the company’s brachytherapy radiation cancer therapy treatment business. That, along with a 4.5 million writedown for "the impairment of Greek bonds," $7.9 million in acquisition costs and $17.6 million in tax-related charges combined to push diluted EPS down by 40 cents.
Yesterday CFO Todd Schermerhorn told analysts on a conference call that Bard expects sales growth of between 4% to 7% during the 1st quarter.
"From an EPS standpoint, the ClearStream and Medivance deals will become more accretive as we move through the year, so we see first quarter in the range of $1.53 to $1.57, excluding items affecting comparability, if any," Schermerhorn said. "We repurchased roughly 1.4 million shares of our stock in Q4. The balance sheet as of December 31, 2011, reflects cash, restricted cash and short-term investments of $743.5 million versus $967.3 million at September 30, the decrease being driven by the deals in Q4."
BCR shares were up 2.0% to $94.32 today as of about 11 a.m.