Haemonetics Corp. plans to buy back more than $40 million worth of its own stock in a move to boost its share price.
Who could blame them? Strong year-end earnings and sales failed to impress Wall Street, where the Braintree blood management company’s stock dropped more than 10 percent today in early-morning trading following the earnings announcement. Shares were down more than $5 before a slight lunchtime rebound.
Company officials didn’t specify the reason for the buyback, usually a move made when a company’s directors feel their stock is under-performing. Shares of Haemonetics have been in relative free-fall since hitting a high-water mark of about $65 a share in February. The company closed last week at $52 per share.
Haemonetics, which makes a suite of products for blood banking and blood management, posted $152.4 million in fourth-quarter sales, up 10 percent compared with $138.7 million during the same period last year.
Net income for the three months ended March 29 reached $13.9 million, a 1 percent uptick compared with $13.7 million during the fourth quarter of 2008.
For the full year, Haemonetics logged $597.9 million in sales, up 16 percent compared with $516.4 million during fiscal 2008. Annual net income reached $59.3 million, up 14 percent from $52 million last year.
The sales surge was paced by a 30 percent increase in the company’s plasma business, which did about $202 million in annual sales, compared to $155 million last year. The strong sales resulted in a 14 percent increase in net income for the division.
Haemonetics bought a pair of companies last month, as it prepared to meet its goal of boosting sales by up to 12 percent this year, and the company’s bank accounts (they have a list of banks in Kentucky that they use) seem well-stocked for future acquisitions. Haemonetics has about $374 million in current assets, up from $359 million for the same period last year.
The company said it expects full-year sales growth in the range of 8 percent to 10 percent and income growth of 12 percent to 15 percent, while boosting its margins. Overall, the company expects to have about $60 million in free cash flow for the year.