Baxter International (NYSE:BAX) shares are up about 3% this morning after the health care giant announced sales and earnings numbers that were in line with expectations on Wall Street.
Baxter reported profits of $463 million, or 82 cents per diluted share, on sales of $3.59 billion for the 3 months ended Dec. 31, 2011. That’s a top-line increase of 2.7% and a bottom-line boost of 9.5%, compared with profits of $423 million, or 72 cents diluted EPS, on sales of $3.50 billion during Q4 2010.
For the full year, Baxter reported profits of $2.22 billion, or $3.88 diluted EPS, on sales of $13.89 billion, for a top-line increase of 8.2% and a bottom-line increase of 56.6%. Baxter logged profits of $1.42 billion, or $2.39 diluted EPS, on sales of $12.84 billion during 2010.
Excluding 1-time items, EPS reached $1.17 for the 4th quarter and $4.31 for 2011, each spot-on the mark set by analysts on The Street.
“2011 was a very successful year for Baxter as we continue to fulfill our mission of providing innovative life-saving and life-sustaining therapies that advance patient care worldwide,” chairman & CEO Robert Parkinson Jr. said in prepared remarks. “I’m pleased that despite a challenging, global macro-economic environment, our company delivered strong financial and operational performance, while accelerating investments in innovation, advancing our new product pipeline and pursuing other initiatives to enhance long-term growth, while returning significant value to our shareholders.”
BAX shares were trading at $56.01 as of about 10 a.m. today, up 3.0%.
Baxter said it expects sales to grow 4% to 5% this year, or 2% including foreign exchange effects. Earnings for 2012 are predicted to be between $4.47 and $4.57, including 1-time items.
For the 1st quarter, the company expects sales growth of about 2%, excluding FX effects, with earnings in the range of 98 cents to $1.
“Our 2012 guidance reflects the ongoing strength of our businesses and ability to deliver sustainable growth despite a number of non-operational headwinds,” CFO Robert Hombach said. “Although we are operating in a volatile and challenging macro-environment, we remain focused on delivering growth while making appropriate investments for the future.”