Candela Corp. turned from red to black during the fourth quarter, posting net income of $7.1 million on sales of $31.4 million during the three months ended June 27.
The earnings increase came despite a 16 percent top-line slide during the quarter. The Wayland, Mass.-based cosmetic device maker posted a net loss of $2.7 million on sales of $37.4 million during the same period last year.
And it was the third consecutive quarter of modest revenue growth, president and CEO Gerard Puorro said.
The quarterly improvement was largely due to reduced operating expenses. As a percentage of revenues, Candela reduced total fourth-quarter operating expenses by nearly 15 percent. That translated into a whopping 90.5 percent reduction in losses from operations, as a percentage of revenues, which Candela slashed from $5.2 million during Q4 2008 to just $492,000 during the just-ended period.
The year-on-year comparisons are less rosy. Full-year sales fell 20.5 percent to $116.6 million, down from $146.6 million during 2008, and net losses widened 146 percent to $22.3 million for 2009, compared with $9.1 million in losses last year.
But operating expenses stayed flat year-on-year, falling less than a percent as a percentage of revenues. Losses from operations widened to $17.5 million, compared with $12.7 million in 2008.
There might be more trouble looming on the horizon, however; a few hours before Candela released its earnings report, competitor Palomar Medical Technologies Inc. notched its latest win in an ongoing patent war with Candela and two other cosmetic device makers.