Baxter profit up 7 percent, matches Street view

Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:04am EST

(Reuters) - Baxter International Inc (BAX.N) on Thursday reported higher quarterly earnings as sales strengthened, especially in the United States, and forecast sales growth of 10 percent for 2013.

Separately, Baxter said it had agreed to acquire an investigational hemophilia compound for an upfront payment of $50 million and additional payments of up to $20 million based on winning regulatory approvals in the United States and elsewhere.

Baxter, a maker of blood therapy products, medical infusion pumps and equipment for kidney dialysis, said fourth-quarter net profit was $494 million, or 89 cents per share, up from $463 million, or 82 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Baxter earned $1.26 per share, matching the average estimate on Wall Street, according to Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales rose to $3.75 billion from $3.59 billion.

For the current quarter, Baxter forecast earnings of $1.03 to $1.05 per share before special items, with sales growth of 2 percent to 3 percent.

For the full year, it expects earnings of $4.60 to $4.70 per share before special items, and cash flow from operations of $3.3 billion.

The previously announced acquisition of Gambro AB, expected to close by the end of the second quarter, will reduce full-year 2013 earnings by 10 cents to 15 cents per share, Baxter said.

Including Gambro, Baxter said its forecast reflects 2013 sales growth of about 10 percent before the impact of foreign exchange.

(Reporting By Debra Sherman; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and John Wallace)

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