Baxter International Inc. posted a 2 percent second-quarter earnings spike, beating Wall Street’s predictions, and could be poised for a boost from the Swine Flu pandemic.
The Deerfield, Ill.-based medical device and vaccine maker posted net income of $587 million for the three months ended June 30, up 8 percent from $544 million during the same period last year, a point above analysts’ predictions.
Organic sales rose 8 percent compared with the second quarter of 2008, but tough foreign exchange rates meant a 2 percent overall decline, to $3.12 billion from $3.19 billion during the year-ago period.
Baxter could be poised to reap a windfall if another H1N1 influenza virus outbreak rears its head as expected during the fall flu season. The company said it started full-scale production of a commercial vaccine for the virus during the quarter, using its Vero cell culture technology.
Leerink Swann analyst Rick Wise said that could bode well for Baxter, citing accelerated organic sales growth for the firm’s biosciences unit compared with the 2009 first quarter.
“This growth acceleration does not seem to reflect any incremental swine flu vaccine sales, potentially implying that we could see some vaccine upside in the second half of the year,” Wise wrote in a note to clients.
Baxter boosted its guidance for the third quarter and full year, saying it expects organic sales growth of up to 8 percent (excluding those pesky foreign currencies, which could render sales growth flat both for the next quarter and the rest of 2009).