MDT shares closed at $72.47 each, for a 4.7% gain on the day.
The Fridley, Minn.-based medical device giant posted profits of $828 million, or 83¢ per share, on sales of $4.37 billion for the 3 months ended Oct. 24. Adjusted to exclude 1-time items, earnings per share were 96¢, in line with expectations on Wall Street, where analysts were also looking for revenues of $4.37 billion.
"We remain fully committed to the transaction, which we expect to close in early calendar year 2015. We believe the acquisition remains extremely attractive financially, even following the updated financing plans we announced in October. We’ve identified achievable cost synergies that are expected to make the transaction accretive in the 1st year on a cash basis and neutral to accretive within 3 years on a GAAP basis," Ishrak said.
CFO Gary Ellis said Medtronic will maintain its pledge to return 50% of its free cash flow to investors, noting that the company’s post-merger U.S. access to cash will improve from around 35% to 40% to more than 60%.
"And so that clearly improves our flexibility, and gives us the ability, as we take a look at the combined companies moving forward, on what we might do with capital allocation or reinvesting back in United States. And as we indicated that was 1 of the key factors for the transaction and the structure we team up with, is to improve that overall flexibility as we move ahead," Ellis said.