(Reuters) — Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) yesterday raised its 2015 earnings forecast to reflect strong demand for its non-invasive heart valve replacement system, but revised its overall sales forecast to account for a larger negative impact of foreign exchange due to the strong dollar .
Edwards said it now expects adjusted full-year earnings of $4.00 to $4.30 per share, up from the forecast it provided in December of $3.90 to $4.10. The company cited momentum in transcatheter heart valve sales for the change.
Transcatheter aortic valve implant systems are considered to be Edwards’ most important growth driver.
Edwards shares rose 2% to $129.50 in after-market trading yesterday.
The company said it now sees a foreign exchange hit of about $160 million, up significantly from its prior projection of $90 million. As a result, Edwards now expects full-year sales at the lower end of its $2.3 billion to $2.5 billion forecast.
Edwards gets about 55% of its sales from outside the U.S., the largest segment from Europe and a sizable chunk from Japan, where the currencies have not fared well against the dollar.
The company also reported higher-than-expected 4th-quarter earnings. Excluding items, it earned $1.06 per share. Analysts on average expected 95¢ per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Edwards said net profit rose 45.4% to $109.2 million, or $1.00 per share, from $75.1 million, or 68 cents per share, a year earlier.
Revenue for the quarter rose 15.3% to $618 million, edging past Wall Street estimates of $611 million.
TAVI sales rose 46% to $267.5 million, including $129.5 million in U.S. sales. U.S. sales of the Sapien TAVI systems are expected to grow with approvals of newer versions already in use in Europe, and for use in less frail patients.
For the full year, Edwards reported profit growth of 108.5% to $811.1 million, or $7.48 per share, on sales growth of 13.6% to $2.32 billion. Adjusted EPS were $3.50 in 2014, 12¢ ahead of The Street.
Edwards said it expects a U.S. launch of its Sapien 3 for high-risk patients early in 2016 and is testing its system in moderate risk patients. Initial U.S. approvals were for an older Sapien version and only in patients deemed unable to endure open heart surgery.
Surgically replaced heart valve sales were about flat at $206.1 million.
For the first quarter of 2015, at current foreign exchange rates, the company forecast sales of $570 million to $610 million, and adjusted earnings of $1.02 and $1.10 per share. Analysts on average are estimating earnings of 92¢ on sales of $580.2 million.