Nobel Biocare (VTX:NOBN, OTC:NBHGY) said today that it doubled its 2nd-quarter profits on strong sales of its dental implants in the U.S. and Asia, even as it reportedly fields interest and at least 1 offer from potential acquirers said to include Swedish private equity player EQT Partners and Danaher (NYSE:DHR).
Nobel Biocare posted profits of €15.9 million ($21.1 million), or €0.13 (17¢) per share, on sales of €144.3 million ($191.7 million) for the quarter, for a bottom-line gain of 98.8% despite declining sales growth of -2.4% (adjusted for currency exchange rates, revenues rose 2.2%).
"We are very pleased with our operating profit progress highlighted by a second quarter EBIT margin of 17% at constant exchange rates, up more than 4 percentage points from the comparable base of last year. This again underpins our turnaround strategy after delivering five consecutive quarters of revenue growth," CEO Richard Laube said in prepared remarks. "With sustainable and predictable revenue growth of both our premium and value brands, we can increasingly deliver organizational efficiency and significant operating profit progress. Our strategy of turning Nobel Biocare around through leading innovation, value-added customer support, training and education, and increasing operational efficiency is unquestionably working and we believe more progress is yet to come."
The strong Q2 results prompted the Swiss dental device maker to boost its outlook for adjusted EBIT margin growth from 1.0% to 1.5%-2%, on sales growth of 3%-4%. NOBN shares closed up 3.9% at CHF 17.35 apiece; NBHGY shares were trading at $9.45 each as of about 9:36 a.m. Eastern today, up 3.4%.
Citing "people with knowledge of the matter," Bloomberg reported earlier this month that EQT offered about $2.3 billion for Nobel Biocare and that Danaher was also interested. The EQT offer prompted Nobel to seek more offers, according to the news service. Dentsply (NSDQ:XRAY) and other buyout firms are also expected to kick the tires, according to Bloomberg. Nobel confirmed in late July that it had been "approached by 3rd parties with a potential interest in acquiring the company."
"Nobel Biocare is in discussions, which are at a very early stage and may or may not result in any transaction," the company said.