Baxter (NYSE:BAX) shares ticked up today after the healthcare giant posted 4th-quarter and full-year numbers that beat expectations on Wall Street, despite a massive bottom-line slide for both periods and a Q1 earnings forecast that came in below The Street’s outlook.
Deerfield Park, Ill.-based Baxter reported profits of $205 million, or 37¢ per share, on sales of $2.60 billion for the 3 months ended Dec. 31, 2015, for a profit decline of -78.5% on a -6.7% top-line decrease compared with Q4 2014. Adjusted to exclude 1-time items, earnings per share were 43¢, more than a dime ahead of analysts’ 32¢ consensus.
Full-year profits slid -61.2% to $968 million, or $1.76 per share, on sales of $9.97 billion, for a -7.0% decline in revenues compared with 2014. Adjusted EPS came in at $1.38, a full 12¢ ahead of The Street.
“Our 4th-quarter performance clearly reflects the positive impact of our initial post-spin margin expansion programs, and we continue to build upon the momentum that has been established across the organization,” CEO José Almeida said in prepared remarks. “Going forward, I see continued opportunity to deliver improved performance through optimization of the portfolio, enhanced operational excellence and disciplined execution of our capital allocation initiatives, including the successful disposition of our retained Baxalta equity stake.”
Baxter said it expects to report adjusted EPS of 28¢ to 30¢, below the 32¢ consensus forecast, on constant-currency sales growth of 3% to 4%. Full-year adjusted EPS are pegged at $1.46 to $1.54, 12¢ ahead of Wall Street, on constant-currency revenue growth of 2% to 3%.
BAX shares were trading at $38.08 apiece in mid-day trading, up 2.2%.