C.R. Bard Inc. (NYSE:BCR) was just a cent shy of analysts’ expectations for its fourth quarter earnings, although the company fell far short of expected profits for the year.
The Murray Hill, N.J.-based company posted net earnings of $136.2 million, or $1.47 per diluted share, on sales of $717.1 million during the three months ended Dec. 31. That compares with net earnings of $105.9 million, or $1.08 per diluted share, on sales of $676.9 million during the same period last year.
A consensus of 20 analysts predicted the company would produce EPS of $1.48 for Q4.
"BCR’s 4Q10 [adjusted EPS of $1.54] of was almost $0.06 ahead of consensus. But $0.04 of the upside came from the recently enacted R&D tax credit extension, not fully reflected in consensus’ projections," Leerink Swann analyst Rick Wise wrote in a note to investors.
Sales for the fourth quarter saw upticks in all sectors except urology, which fell just 0.1 percent from $185.3 million to $185.1 million. U.S.-based revenue was $490.3 million and sales outside the U.S. were $226.8 million, increases of 6 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Wise called the company’s Q4 performance "respectable," given that hospital admissions are still under pressure.
For the full year, Bard posted net earnings of $509.6 million, or $5.32 per diluted share, on sales of $2.72 billion. That compares with net earnings of $461.4 million, or $4.60 per diluted share, on sales of $2.53 billion during 2009.
"In 2010, we achieved another year of solid results in a challenging environment. Bard continued to drive revenue growth through innovation, providing clinicians with differentiated products to better meet the needs of patients," CEO Timothy Ring said in prepared remarks.
Analyst Wise also noted the company’s "solid performance" for 2010, but warned of a possible slow-growth year.
"BCR’s 2010 [adjusted] EPS growth still managed to hit 10 percent, despite a double-digit EPS increase in the prior year and ~$0.06 of SenoRx [acquisition-related] dilution,” he wrote. “That said, 2011 remains another transition year operationally, with rising investments and relatively slow growth in the company’s core urology franchise.”