C.R. Bard Inc. (NYSE:CRB) rode strong sales growth in its vascular and surgical specialties businesses to a 10 percent bump to its bottom line last year, despite the fact that its net income shrunk about 30 percent during the fourth quarter.
For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2009, the Murray Hill, N.J.-based medical devices giant reported a $106 million profit on $676 million in sales, down 29 percent compared to $150 million in net income on $634 million in sales for the same period last year. A more than 250 percent increase in its tax provision was the difference-maker for the firm, accounting for about $40 million in costs.
Bard blamed the inflated tax provisions on acquisition costs for research and development, as well as some contract terminations. And an Internal Revenue Service audit of 2003 and 2004 resulted in a lower tax burden during 2008, according to a regulatory filing.
Bard managed to make up the difference in its annual performance, which saw it post a $461 million profit on $2.5 billion in sales for 2009, compared to $419 million on $2.4 million in sales during the prior year.
The company showed strong growth in its vascular and surgical specialties business over the final quarter, increasing the latter by 14 percent. Bard’s urology unit, its largest business segment, was down 2 percent over the prior quarter and remained flat for the year.