Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) posted sales and earnings increases for the quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2009, fattening its Q4 bottom line despite a $56 million move to slim its operations.
The Deerfield, Ill.-based medical device maker reported fourth-quarter sales of $3.47 billion, up 10.8 percent compared with $3.13 billion during the same period in 2008. Quarterly net income ticked up half a percent to $572 million, or 94 cents per diluted share, compared with $569 million or 91 cents per diluted share during Q4 2008. The results included a $56 million after-tax hit (9 cents per diluted share) from its move to streamline operations and reflected a 15 percent spike in international sales, after the effects of foreign exchange rates were factored in.
For the full year, Baxter logged sales of $12.56 billion, up 1.7 percent compared with $12.35 billion during 2008. Net income rose to $2.21 billion ($3.59 per diluted share) in 2009, a 9.5 percent increase over $2.01 billion ($3.16 per diluted share) during the prior year. International sales, excluding the impact of foreign currencies, rose 7 percent for the full year.
Baxter said it spent $1.2 billion buying back about 23 million shares of its own stock during the year, paying out $632 million in dividends. That’s a 16 percent boost over its dividend spend in 2008.
For 2010, the company predicted sales growth, excluding foreign exchange, of between 5 percent and 7 percent. Baxter said earnings per diluted share could range between $4.20 and $4.28 for the full year, excluding any "special items." First-quarter sales are expected to rise between 5 percent and 7 percent as well, with earnings per diluted share in the range of 92 to 94 cents.