Sales and earnings continued to slide for NMT Medical Inc., as its hospital customers scaled back inventories in response to the down economy.
The Boston cardiac implant maker posted sales of $3.48 million for the three months ended March 31, down 27.9 percent compared with the same period last year.
NMT’s quarterly net loss widened by 2.2 percent, reaching $3.8 million compared with $3.9 million during the first quarter of 2008.
Company officials chalked up the slide to hospitals reducing their inventories, taking longer to re-order NMT’s non-invasive cardiac repair products and thereby lengthening its sales cycle.
Dismal fourth-quarter and 2008 results forced the company to cut its annual costs by $1 million in March. Fourth-quarter sales slipped 36 percent to $4.4 million; full-year sales fell 33 percent to $17.9 million in 2008. Net losses widened to $4.2 million for the 2008 fourth quarter and $18 million for fiscal 2008.
But the company thinks sales are likely to pick up, as it opens new sales territories in Europe and Latin America for the BioSTAR bio-absorbable cardiac septal repair device it’s developing with Canton’s Organogenesis and lands pre-market approval of its STARFlex septal implant from the Food & Drug Administration.
StarFLEX is also being studied as a possible treatment for stroke or ischemia stemming from patent foramen ovale. The results of that clinical trial are expected to be released during the fourth quarter of 2010.
NMT closed the quarter with $16.3 million in cash on hand, down about 7 percent compared with the same period last year, and COO Richard Davis said the company is in talks with a lender to establish a line of credit.
Davis said NMT expects sales of up to $4.3 million for the second quarter and $18 million for the full year, coupled with a leaner cost structure and a lower cash burn leaving it with up to $8 million in cash at the end of this year.