Covidien plc (NYSE:COV) was in Wall Street’s good graces this morning after beating expectations and boosting its 2012 fiscal guidance.
The Mansfield, Mass.-based company touted record adjusted gross margins of 58.8% for the 3 months ended Dec. 24, 2011, 1.2 points higher than during the same period in 2010.
Covidien also upped its 2012 fiscal guidance, forecasting 3% to 5% sales growth. Its previous guidance was about a point lower.
The news gave COV shares a bump on The Street, where they were trading 5.2% higher, at $52.06, as of about 10:15 a.m. today.
Covidien’s revenues increased by 4.7% during its 1st quarter, to $2.9 billion, over $2.77 billion during the same time last year.
Profits saw an impressive 15.7% spike to $494 million, or $1.02 earned per diluted share, compared to $427 million, or 86 cents diluted EPS, in the 1st quarter of 2011.
Adjusted earnings per share were $1.13, well above analysts’ forecasts of $1.03.
"We are off to an excellent start in fiscal 2012, with good sales gains, record gross and operating margins and double-digit EPS growth," chairman, president & CEO José Almeida said in prepared remarks. "This strong performance was again led by our largest business segment, medical devices, which delivered growth fueled by double-digit advances in energy and vascular products."
Medical device sales grew 6% to $1.98 billion for the quarter, including a 19% increase for energy devices and a 17% bump for vascular products. Covidien said it expects medical device sales to increase 2% to 5% in this year.
The company’s pharmaceutical division also saw some gains with sales up 4% to $490 million. Covidien announced last month that it plans to spin off its pharma unit into a separate, publicly traded company, a move that’s expected to take about 18 months.
Medical supply sales were virtually flat during the first quarter at $424 million.