Shares of BAX were up 10.4% at $78.98 in early-afternoon trading today.
The Deerfield, Ill.–based company posted losses of -$19 million, or -5¢ per share, on sales of $3.04 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2019, dipping below zero on its bottom line after profits of $311 million in this quarter last year, despite sales growth of 7.3%.
Adjusted to exclude one-time items, earnings per share were 97¢, 9¢ ahead of Wall Street, where analysts were looking for sales of $2.98 billion.
“Our sales and earnings performance in 2019 demonstrate the momentum and underlying strength of our ongoing transformation,” Baxter chairman, president & CEO José Almeida said in a news release. “We are driving growth across our global businesses and regions, fueled by innovation and commercial execution that position us for sustained success.
“Our focus remains on advancing our mission for patients and accelerating value for all stakeholders. We look forward to building on our progress in quarters to come.”
The delay in Baxter’s effort to report its financial results was due to an internal probe into its foreign exchange trading practices launched in October 2019. The investigation concluded last month and uncovered that Baxter’s income for the past four years may have been overstated by $276 million.
“Our investigation of this matter as it relates to its financial impacts is now complete,” Almeida said. “The relevant foreign exchange gains and losses were non-operational in nature, and our core operational performance across this period continues to demonstrate the strength and trajectory of our ongoing transformation, fueled by revitalized innovation, increased efficiency and the dedication of our 50,000 employees worldwide.”
Baxter said it is not giving any guidance for full-year 2020 right now, given the degree of uncertainty surrounding the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The company said it expects to have an update when it announces first-quarter earnings on April 30.
The company added that it has experienced limited financial impact due to coronavirus so far, but it is not in a position to estimate the potential impact down the road, given the dynamic nature of the situation.